Japanese firm Hitachi Chemicals has bought the majority share of lead-acid battery maker Fiamm.
The Italian company’s board of directors chose to sign an agreement allowing Hitachi to obtain 51% of the shares of FIAMM Energy Technology.
The Japanese SLI battery maker Hitachi Chemical Company Ltd, has pulled off a deal to take 10% of the Indian SLI market in the next three years— thanks to a free-trade agreement with Thailand.
Hitachi, which launched its commercial vehicle batteries range for the Indian market through a strategic tie-up with Ahmedabad-based Alf technologies, will have a projected turnover of US$231m (Rs 250 crore).
Jackie Chuah, director of the $5.5 billion Hitachi Chemical Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, Singapore said that the Indian market is huge for Hitachi to cover alone. "We thus entered into a strategic partnership with Ahmedabad-based Alf Technologies who have considerable experience about automotive batteries marketing and distribution pan-India," he said.
Tawianese lead-acid battery manufacturer CSB Battery has become a consolidated subsidiary of Hitachi Chemical after the Japanese firm bought around 33.7 percent of its shares.
Hitachi has announced it has developed an energy storage system for the US market that can be integrated to high-voltage power lines to capture energy that has been generated by renewable sources. The stored energy can be sold back to the grid from the lithium-ion battery at times of high demand.
The Japanese company believes the 1MW system, known as CrystEna, will help to stabilise the grid by supporting solar and wind power.
Hitachi Chemical Co will increase its production capacity for industrial lead-acid batteries by next January by expanding facilities of the subsidiary company Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery Co.
Some US$12 750000 (one billion yen) will be spent on constructing a building with a new assembly line at Shin-Kobe's Nabari Works in Mie Prefecture, the main site making lead-acid batteries. It is estimated cell production capacity is likely to increase by 50%.
The site will make back-up power source batteries, the LL-W series of which demand is growing for in offices and factories at risk of power failures. Joining 192 LL-W batteries together can produce 40kw of electricity for around ten hours.
Shin-Kobe Co. accounts for roughly 30% of the domestic market for industrial lead-acid batteries. The LL-W products claim a battery life of 17 years, one of the world's longest, and are a fraction of the cost of a lithium-ion counterpart.