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Polypore and SEMCORP establish JV in China for dry-process lithium-ion battery separators

Fri, 10/01/2021 - 11:02 -- Paul Crompton

A joint venture to produce up to 1 billion m2/year of dry-process lithium-ion battery separators in China by 2028 has been established by a joint Japanese and Chinese partnership.

The joint venture (JV) was established by Polypore International (Polypore)—  A wholly owned subsidiary of Japan’s Asahi Kasei— and China’s Shanghai Energy New Materials Technology (SEMCORP) 

Production by the JV is scheduled to start next year with a capacity of 100 million m2/year, with plans to raise capacity to 1 billion m2/year by around 2028 in line with demand growth. 

The joint venture will manufacture and sell dry-process separator in China for energy storage systems (ESS) and electric vehicle (EV) batteries. 

The technology and intellectual property related to dry-process polypropylene (PP) separator will be based on a license from Polypore’s subsidiary Celgard.

The JV will leverage Celgard’s technology in combination with SEMCORP’s production process control and cost control capabilities in China. 

The agreement for the establishment of the joint venture was reached in January 2021, but only just confirmed.

Celgard president Lie Shi said that by joining each company’s specialisms, the joint venture would provide a wide range of solutions to customers and stimulate further development of the LIB industry overall.

SEMCORP is China’s leading manufacturer of wet-process LIB separator, with six manufacturing sites in China having a total production capacity of 3.5 billion m2/year. 

SEMCORP chairman and CEO Paul Xiaoming Lee said: “This joint venture will let us capture a huge opportunity in the ESS market with dry-process separator. 

“By combining Celgard’s highest-level technology and know-how with SEMCORP’s rich operational experience in China, track record of mass-producing high-quality separator, and cost-competitiveness, this joint venture with Polypore will be a revolutionary supplier of dry-process separator.” 

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Entek completes NSG deal to open door to offer PE, AGM and lithium-in battery separators

Mon, 09/06/2021 - 15:40 -- Paul Crompton

Battery separator company Entek International completed the acquisition of a Japanese lead-acid battery separator firm.

Entek finalised the purchase of the majority stake in Nippon Sheet Glass’ (NSG) lead-acid battery separator business on 1 September.

The deal was first announced in May when both companies executed the relevant agreements and had to await approval by the laws and regulations in the relevant jurisdictions, including NSG’ home country Japan.

Larry Keith, CEO of Entek International, said the acquisition was an “important milestone” in the growth and evolution of the company’s global business.

The combination of manufacturing footprints and product portfolios will enable Entek to support customers around the world and produce all three primary separator technologies­­— polyethylene (PE) separator and absorbent glass mat (AGM), and lithium-ion separators— for the global energy storage industry.  

The transaction included all NSG's lead-battery separator manufacturing facilities in Japan and China for both AGM and PE

The investment provides Entek with the capacity and expanded product offerings to meet broader customer demands as well as enabling entry into new markets.

The acquisition is one of many strategic initiatives underway by the US firm, others include the expansion of the Indonesian manufacturing site, investment in specialty films at the Oregon campus, expansion of its equipment division and collaboration and investment at the Britishvolt gigafactory site in the UK.

You can read more about the deal in the latest edition of BEST magazine, available here

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EVE announces 30GWh of battery capacity plans as it forms lithium-ion separator JV

Wed, 08/25/2021 - 12:02 -- Paul Crompton

Chinese battery manufacturer EVE Energy plans to build two lithium-ion production facilities totalling 30GWh of capacity in the central province of Hubei.

EVE and its subsidiaries plan to build a 15GWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery project for logistics vehicles and household energy storage, and a 15GWh nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) battery project for passenger vehicles.               

The announcement follows EVE signing the Strategic Investment Agreement with the Administrative Committee of Jingmen High-tech Industrial Development Zone on 2 August. 

Construction schedules and launch dates were not announced. 

The agreement is a framework agreement, and the specific cooperation matters shall be subject to the separate contract signed by the Jingmen High-tech Zone Management Committee and EVE or EVE's subsidiary.

An EVE statement read: “This cooperation is conducive for both parties to give full play to their respective resources and advantages, expand the production capacity of power energy storage batteries, and further improve the diversified industrial layout of EVE.”

EVE Energy develops, produces and sells consumer batteries, including lithium galvanic, small lithium-ion and ternary cylindrical batteries; power batteries used in electric vehicles and their battery systems; as well as energy storage batteries.

EVE is one of the 10 largest battery manufacturers in China. 

Joint venture agreement

On 2 August, EVE entered into a joint venture (JV) with Yunnan Energy New Material (SEMCORP Group) to focus on the manufacturing of lithium-ion battery separator and coating film.

The expected annual capacity is 1.6 billion square meters of wet battery separators and corresponding coating films, which will prioritize supply to EVE and its subsidiaries. 

The total planned investment for the project is $805 million.

The Joint Venture Operating Agreement and supplementary agreement will see the parties establish the joint venture in Jingmen City.

The registered capital of the JV is $248 million , of which, SEMCORP’s designated investor subscribes $136 million and holds 55% of the equity of the joint venture JV while EVE subscribes $112 million and holds the remaining equity.

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Leoch expands further into Europe with lead-acid battery distributer buy out

Tue, 05/18/2021 - 08:38 -- Paul Crompton
Leoch expands further into Europe with lead-acid battery distributer buy out

Chinese battery manufacturer Leoch has strengthened its grip on the European lead-acid market with the buyout of Spanish battery distributor Meibat.

The Chinese company will set up firm Leoch Iberia with the goal of establishing a permanent market hold in the Iberia region.  

Established in 1992, Meibat distributed industrial batteries in Spain from its base just outside of Madrid.

A new warehouse facility will be set up in Madrid to cover the network power and motive power markets throughout Spain and Portugal. 

Meibat has historically focused on complementary sectors to Leoch in telecommunications, UPS, data centres, renewables and energy storage as well the motive markets. 

The company is in the top 10 of battery and energy system distributors in Spain with all the major key accounts in the region.

Leoch now has direct operations in Spain, Greece, France, Germany, Italy and the UK. 

The company has 10 regional manufacturing plants in China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India and Vietnam.

Apostolos Tasiopoulos, Leoch's vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Leoch previously had a representative in Spain but this major acquisition will enable us to establish a permanent footprint with all original equipment customers in Iberia. 

“It was the only major European country on our target list where we didn’t have our own entity; it joins our existing facilities in France, Germany, Italy and the UK.”

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BYD builds on its closed loop dream with second-life lithium-ion battery partnership

Tue, 01/05/2021 - 14:34 -- Paul Crompton

Chinese battery OEM and electric vehicle maker BYD will transform old batteries into energy storage systems through a partnership with Chinese lithium-ion recycling start-up Pandpower and Japanese trading house Itochu.

Old battery packs from buses, taxis and other vehicles manufactured by BYD will be collected from dealerships across China and turned into ship-container-sized power units for renewable energy and factories.

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CATL announces plans to invest $5 billion to boost lithium-ion battery production

Mon, 01/04/2021 - 11:26 -- Paul Crompton

Chinese lithium-ion battery producer Contemporary Amparex Technology (CATL) is set to invest 39billion yuan ($5.4 billion) to raise its overall capacity to a reported 70GWh. 

The firm will spend the money on making a new plant in China and expanding capacity at two existing facilities in the country.

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BYD to build 48 LiFePO modules a day at new battery factory in Brazil

Thu, 09/03/2020 - 12:12 -- Paul Crompton

Chinese battery maker BYD has commissioned its latest battery plant in Brazil to produce lithium iron phosphate battery modules to supply the country’s electric bus market.

The manufacturing plant, at the Manaus Industrial Zone (PIM) in the northern state of Amazonas, is primarily focused on installing the modules into electric bus chassis. 

The R$15 million ($2.7 million) factory covers 5,000 square meters and has a production capacity of up to 18 thousand battery modules per year— it expects to deliver 1,000 battery modules this month alone.

The highly automated and robotic plant is producing 48 battery modules each day.

Tyler Li, country manager of BYD Brazil, said: “Our proposal is to popularise and facilitate the electrification of mobility and equipment in the country.”

The city of São José dos Campos, located in São Paulo state in the country's south, will be the first to benefit from the plant. Overall, BYD will supply twelve, 22-meter articulated buses.

BYD opened its first plant in Brazil during 2015 to produce electric buses, as well as selling electric vehicles and forklifts in Campinas, also located in São Paulo state. 

China lithium-ion battery maker reveals plans for 5GWh plant in the country

Thu, 05/28/2020 - 10:53 -- Paul Crompton

Chinese battery producer Jiangsu Pylontech has announced plans for a 5GWh a year lithium-ion battery production plant in China’s southeast Jiangsu province.

Pylontech, a subsidiary of Chinese telecom operator ZTE, that mainly produces lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries expects the plant to be completed in three phases by the end of 2022.

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SVOLT officially launches two cobalt-free batteries

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:08 -- Paul Crompton

Chinese automotive battery company called SVOLT officially announced two cobalt-free batteries 20 May.

Yang Hongxin, president of SVOLT, said, the company’s L6 cobalt-free long cell was being adapted to a high-end model of car by Chinese vehicle OEM Great Wall Motors. 

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China backs Taiwan firm to ramp up production of its solid-state lithium ceramic batteries

Wed, 04/22/2020 - 13:51 -- Paul Crompton

Taiwanese solid-state lithium ceramic battery developer ProLogium Technology has raised around $100 million in Series D financing from Chinese investors, reports China Money Network.

ProLogium will use the money from BOCG (Bank of China Group) Investment and FAW First Automobile Works) Group to commercialise and scale-up manufacturing of its technology.

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