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Northvolt’s $1bn battery boost as VW partnership unveiled

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 16:19 -- John Shepherd
Northvolt’s $1bn battery boost as VW partnership unveiled

Battery manufacturing start-up Northvolt has raised US$1 billion for its planned Swedish gigafactory project­­­— and has revealed it will build a second such facility in Germany in partnership with Volkswagen.

Northvolt said the equity capital raise for the lithium-ion battery cells plant at Skellefteå had been led by VW and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, alongside BMW, AMF, Folksam Group and IMAS Foundation.

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Gravita launches Ghana lead production plant

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 14:06 -- John Shepherd
Gravita launches Ghana lead production plant

Indian lead producer and recycler Gravita has launched commercial production of lead from a subsidiary operation in Ghana, West Africa.

Recycler Ghana Limited said the US$3.1 million Ghana facility has an initial production capacity of 6,000 metric tonnes per annum (MTPA). An additional 6,000 MTPA capacity is set to come on stream at the plant from July 2019.

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Microporous partners China’s Zisun for AGM separators

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 12:56 -- John Shepherd
Microporous partners China’s Zisun for AGM separators

US-based lead-acid separator firm Microporous has agreed a global partnership deal with Chinese micro-glass fibre firm Zisun Technology to manufacture, develop and distribute AGM battery separators.

Microporous said the deal would see it add AGM separators to its product portfolio and combine “leading expertise in lead-acid battery chemistry and separator engineering with high-end micro glass fibre and related wet laid technologies”.

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Thai investor backs Enevate’s fast-charge tech

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 16:28 -- John Shepherd
Thai investor backs Enevate’s fast-charge tech

Thailand-based energy company Bangchak has made a “significant” undisclosed investment in US-based advanced lithium-ion battery tech developer Enevate.

CEO of California-based Enevate, Robert Rango, said the deal meant Bangchak becomes “an important partner in our mission to provide advanced battery technology that will help drive the growth of global EV markets with as little as five-minute charging times”.

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NeoVolta surfs California wave of energy storage investment

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 15:36 -- John Shepherd
NeoVolta surfs California wave of energy storage investment

Californian residential battery storage start-up NeoVolta said it is set for a “300% increase in manufacturing capacity” as the state embraces investment in renewable energy systems.

NeoVolta, launched last year, said its move to a new 21,150 sq ft production facility in San Diego this summer will allow it to increase production of its lithium iron phosphate home battery units to more than 10,000 annually.

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Johnson Matthey ramps up ‘high-energy’ material investment

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 12:24 -- John Shepherd
Johnson Matthey ramps up ‘high-energy’ material investment

UK-based Johnson Matthey (JM) is ramping up investment in developing its “ultra-high energy” battery cathode material and plans to open customer application testing centres in the UK and Japan.

JM said it has made “significant progress” in commercialising its enhanced lithium nickel oxide (eLNO) material— and has signed its first long-term supply agreement for raw materials with Canada’s Nemaska Lithium. 

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BMZ opens expanded US headquarters

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 11:22 -- John Shepherd
BMZ opens expanded US headquarters

German lithium-ion manufacturer BMZ has opened the new headquarters of its US subsidiary in Virginia.

A total of more than $2 million has been invested in the BMZ USA expansion project at Virginia Beach.

A BMZ spokesperson told BEST Battery Briefing the company’s former US operations site nearby, which opened in 2011, has now been closed.

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Innolith expands team for US, China sales push

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 13:10 -- John Shepherd
Innolith expands team for US, China sales push

Swiss battery technology company Innolith has announced two key appointments as part of its push into the North American and Chinese markets.

Former Younicos executive Stephen Wiley has been appointed VP for US business development. Wiley is also a former senior VP at BrightSource Energy, working on the development of a concentrated solar power facility in the US.

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World Bank leads new push for battery storage

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 12:34 -- John Shepherd
World Bank leads new push for battery storage

An international “technology-neutral” partnership to expand the use of energy storage systems in developing countries has been launched by 30 organisations led by the World Bank.

The Energy Storage Partnership (ESP) aims to “catalyse a new market for batteries”, beyond the current focus on the market to supply electric vehicles, the bank said.

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Ganfeng Lithium in battery material cash boost for Bacanora

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 17:37 -- John Shepherd
Ganfeng Lithium in battery material cash boost for Bacanora

Ganfeng Lithium, China's largest lithium compounds producer, is tightening its grip on the battery raw materials market by agreeing to buy a 30% stake in Mexico-focused Bacanora Lithium.

London-listed Bacanora has signed a non-binding agreement for Ganfeng to pay £14.4 million (US$18.3m) in cash for the stake— in addition to the Chinese firm taking an initial 22.5% direct interest in northern Mexico’s Sonora Lithium Project for £7,563,649, with an option to increase its stake up to 50%.

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