Japanese chemicals company Mitsui is to pre-pay Sigma Lithium US$30 million under a strategic alliance agreement for the supply of battery-grade lithium concentrate.
Sigma will supply Mitsui with “up to 55,000 tonnes” of material annually for six years, with an option to extend for a further five years.
Sigma said the agreement provided for a significant portion of the funding required for capital expenditures and construction of Sigma’s commercial production plant at its Grota do Cirilo lithium project in Brazil.
Japanese tech group Asahi Kasei will invest 30 billion yen (US$271 million) to expand its manufacturing capacity for lithium-ion battery separators, in response to “booming global demand in the battery market”.
Asahi Kasei will use the funds to increase production capacity by an additional 450 million square metres a year, taking the total capacity to 1.55 billion sq m, well beyond its target— stated in January 2018— of 1.1bn sq m by 2020.
The current 450m sq m expansion is scheduled for completion in mid 2021 across two factory sites— Moriyama in Japan and North Carolina in the US.
Residential battery storage firm Moixa is working on a major project to expand electric vehicle smart charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology in the UK.
Moixa, which won UK government funding in 2017 to expand its ‘GridShare’ batteries aggregator technology, is preparing a “scale proposition” for the project, BEST Battery Briefing has learned.
Moixa co-founder and chief technology officer Chris Wright told BBB the company was not yet able to divulge details. “I am limited to what I can say, but we have a big project in the UK that will demonstrate control of EV smart charging and also V2G technology.”
Japan-based lead and lithium group GS Yuasa has unveiled a dual chemistry energy storage system that “combines the fast response of lithium-ion with the endurance of lead-acid”.
GS Yuasa said the container-based system is the “world’s first energy storage platform where lead acid and lithium-ion batteries are combined to feed a power conversion system”.
The battery giant partnered with Infinite Group, the University of Sheffield and Innovate UK to develop the ‘Adept’ (advanced multi-energy management and optimisation time shifting platform) system.
Japanese compatriots Panasonic and Toshiba have concluded contracts toward setting up a joint venture (JV) company related to the automotive prismatic battery business.
The JV— which is subject to approval by anti-trust chiefs— will cover “research, development, production, engineering, manufacturing, procurement, order receipt, and management”.
Toyota will contribute equipment and personnel in the areas of development and production engineering related to battery cells, while Panasonic will contribute equipment and personnel to support activities including production, development, engineering and manufacturing (at its plants in Japan and Dalian, China).
Japan-based battery giant GS Yuasa is leasing new premises in Germany to expand its business.
The lead-acid and lithium-ion battery manufacturer has leased around 7,300 square metres of logistics space at Krefeld, in North Rhine-Westphalia, northwest of Düsseldorf.
The lease at the new Segro Logistics Center Krefeld II has a term of more than 10 years and starts in April 2019.
Toshiba is to spin-off its SCiB rechargeable battery business to make it an independent business unit within the Japanese corporation.
The decision will see SCiB (Super Charge ion Batteries) transferred from Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation (TISS)— a wholly owned Toshiba subsidiary— from 1 April 2019.
Semi-solid lithium-ion cells company 24M is to pump more than $20 million into speeding up deployment of the technology for the electric vehicle market.
US-based 24M said it had raised a total of $21.8m in series D financing to boost development of its “simple, capital-efficient, low-cost manufacturing process and the development of differentiated, high energy density lithium-ion cells”.
The financing was led by Japan-based ceramics manufacturer Kyocera and Japanese trading house Itochu. Previous investors also taking part in the round included North Bridge Venture Partners.
Japanese electrical manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric has received an order from the Chiyoda Corporation to provide its BLEnDer RE energy management system to monitor and control a 240 megawatt/720 megawatt-hour lithium-ion battery system at Kita-Toyotomi Substation in Teshio, Hokkaido.
Upper Hokaido, with favourable winds and abundant open land, is well suited to wind turbines, but there are fears that the associated fluctuations in power output will increasingly disrupt the balance of electrical demand and supply.