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LG Chem, Ford in blockchain pilot to trace ‘ethical’ battery materials

Mon, 01/21/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Tech giant IBM has teamed up with battery maker LG Chem, the Ford Motor Company and others to use blockchain technology “to trace and validate ethically-sourced materials” for batteries and other products.

The group, which includes Chinese mining firm Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt and auditing specialist RCS Global, is starting with a pilot focused on cobalt sourced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The move comes amid increasing pressure on electric vehicle producers and their battery suppliers to ensure an ethical approach for procuring raw materials— and hot on the heels of another ‘sustainable cobalt’ initiative launched by South Korea’s Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics, Germany’s BMW and chemicals group BASF.

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Commissioning starts on ‘China’s largest vanadium flow battery’

Mon, 01/21/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Electrolyte tanks installed for the 3MW 12MWh VRB-ESS at the Hubei Zaoyang project

Chinese vanadium redox battery manufacturer VRB Energy has begun commissioning a 3MW/12MWH vanadium redox battery, phase one of its Hubei Zaoyang 10MW/40MWh project, which will be the “largest vanadium flow battery installed in China”.

The system is being installed to integrate a large solar photovoltaic system into the grid at Zaoyang.

VRB’s chief technical officer Dr Mianyan Huang said: “We are delighted to have successfully integrated the first module of a 1MW/4MWh VRB-ESS into the grid, allowing our customer, Hubei Pingfan, to immediately benefit from cost-savings on peak-hour electricity tariffs through energy arbitrage at its industrial park.”

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Leoch breaks ground on China lithium plant

Mon, 01/21/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Leoch ground breaking ceremony

Hong Kong-listed lead batteries firm Leoch International Technology has broken ground for a major lithium-ion battery plant in China’s northern Anhui Province.

Leoch is investing CNY1.2 billion (US$177.5 million) in the project to build a factory in the Huaibei Development Zone with an annual production capacity of four gigawatt-hours.

The ‘Leoch International Anhui New Energy Battery Project’ will manufacture batteries for energy storage systems as well as to power electrical devices, Leoch said.

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LG Chem expands battery investment in China

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

South Korean battery giant LG Chem has confirmed plans to invest the equivalent of more than US$1 billion to expand its battery manufacturing capacity in eastern China.

LG Chem signed a 1.1 trillion Korean won (KRW) investment contract with municipal and city leaders to include building a third plant in Nanjing, which will produce electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

According to the agreement, LG Chem will invest KRW600bn in the new plant and an existing EV and small battery plant by 2020 respectively— all in the Nanjing Xinjiang Economic Development Zone.

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Envision investment deal for 'advanced' China NCM plant

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Shanghai-based energy group Envision has confirmed plans to build "the world's most advanced" nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM 811) battery production line as part of an investment and cooperation agreement with US-based investment firm Sequoia Capital.

Envision, which agreed a deal to become the majority owner of Nissan’s international lithium-ion batteries business in 2018, said the manufacturing facility in Wuxi, in China's Jiangsu Province, will produce "high-safety, high-energy density and high-endurance power batteries" with an eventual annual production capacity of some 20 gigawatt-hours.

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Pilbara secures funding to expand Pilganoora lithium deposit

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Pilganoora lithium-tantalum project

Australian mining company Pilbara Minerals has secured funding from two of its key customers, in order to expand its Pilganoora lithium ore deposit.

The funding is comprised of a US$25 million offtake pre-payment facility provided by Chinese automotive manufacturer, Great Wall Motor Company, a $50m equity placement to Ganfeng Lithium, and a proposed new $50m Nordic bond to be implemented in the current quarter, with bondholder consent.

The funding package will be combined with Pilbara’s existing cash reserves and future cash flow from stage 1 operations of the Pilganoora resource to fully fund the second stage of operations. Pilbara is targeting commissioning of stage 2 from the March quarter 2020.

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Samsung 'to expand China battery production'

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Korean electronics giant Samsung is to invest US$2.4 billion in order to expand battery manufacturing in Tianjin, northern China, according to a report by the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

The Tianjin municipal government has reported that the investment will be used to expand the power battery lines for automotive batteries, and to establish a multi-layer ceramics capacitors (MLCC) factory in the city.

Tianjin is already a well-established manufacturing base for Samsung, with 10 affiliated companies currently in the municipality, pumping out products reportedly worth a combined total of around CNY84bn ($12.2bn) annually.

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BYD ‘on course for batteries unit IPO’

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Wang Chuanfu

Chinese automotive manufacturer BYD plans to list its batteries business within the next four years to fund expansion plans, founder and chairman Wang Chuanfu has said.

Wang (pictured) told Bloomberg the company, which is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway group, is eyeing an initial public offering for its battery storage business by the end of 2022.

Wang said the company is in the process of spinning off its vehicle-battery operations into a separate firm before listing. He said the listing would take place by the end of 2022— but that the Shenzhen-based company had yet to decide where the shares would be traded.

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CATL opens first US office in Detroit

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Chinese lithium-ion manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL) is opening its first North American sales and service facility, in Detroit, Michigan, as the company looks to stake its claim on the US battery market.

CATL has established “a series of partnership agreements with world-renowned car manufacturers” such as BMW, Daimler, and Jaguar Land Rover.

The Detroit facility will help CATL to “improve the supply of lithium-ion batteries to the US auto market and to support the expansion of EV manufacturing.”

 

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Webasto and Wanxiang ink Shanghai battery partnership

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Automotive component manufacturers Webasto and Wanxiang A123 are to cooperate on a Shanghai-based battery development partnership targeting commercial vehicles for the Chinese market.

China-based Wanxiang, which also produces lithium-ion batteries, has signed a partnership agreement to produce a battery module that will be integrated in Munich-based Webasto’s modular battery system.

The project is the first under the partnership. The battery modules from Wanxiang contain high-quality NCM battery cells.

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