France’s Saft and Chinese lead-acid battery group Tianneng Energy Technology have formed a joint venture (JV) to expand lithium-ion manufacturing and “scale up its e-mobility and energy storage businesses”.
The JV will “primarily focus on the development, manufacturing and sales of advanced lithium-ion cells, modules and packs”. Production will be based at Tianneng’s Changxing factory, with a potential annual manufacturing capacity of 5.5GWh.
“This is a first strategic move driven by Total, following its acquisition of Saft in 2016,” said Patrick Poyanné, CEO of Total, the French battery manufacturer’s parent company. “The JV will allow Saft to join forces with a Chinese partner, a world leading lead-acid battery manufacturer, willing to develop its lithium-ion activities.
US lead-acid battery recycler Aqua Metals has told shareholders the company is on course for an estimated 25% increase in lead metal production after completing the first phase of a capital programme.
The company said the production increase would come from its first full production run of lead bullion from a newly commissioned third kettle— used to process the hard lead from the batteries it breaks.
A new filter press has also been installed and started up and a new centrifuge has been installed, Aqua Metals confirmed on 28 March.
France will invest €700 million (US$788.8 million) over the next five years to boost the European battery industry and reduce reliance on Asian battery makers, President Emmanuel Macron has said.
Speaking to the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers in Paris, Macron said that Europe needs a “wake-up call” on batteries, referencing the threat of external dependence for an increasingly vital resource in an era of international trade wars.
“In terms of sovereignty and independence, I think it’s not good in the long run for our industry to be 100 per cent reliant on non-Europeans,” Macron was quoted by Reuters as saying.
France’s government is throwing its weight behind a French-led consortium spearheading development of “third and fourth generation” lithium-ion battery technology.
The country’s powerful National Industrial Council (CNI)— headed by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe— said it is backing batteries research by Saft and others to the tune of “at least” EUR10 million ($11.5m).
French lithium-ion battery systems firm Forsee Power is preparing for a “tenfold” increase in production with plans for a new manufacturing facility in the country.
Foresee said the 15,000m² “mass manufacturing” facility to be built in Grand Poitier, western France, will initially run three automated production lines.
A French company has designed, assembled and tested a 10 kW organic redox flow battery prototype for renewable, smart and micro-grid applications.
Kemwatt’s non-corrosive organic RFB required two years of development from the Rennes based start-up.