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lead-acid

Sunlight investment to expand lead and lithium-ion battery production in Europe and US

Tue, 09/07/2021 - 08:47 -- paul Crompton
Sunlight lead-acid lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant

Battery maker Sunlight will invest an additional €50 million ($59 million) into its US and European plants to increase lead-acid and lithium-ion battery manufacturing.

The Greek firm will invest €30 million ($35.5 million) to increase production of motive power lead-acid flooded products at its plant in Xanthi, northeastern Greece, from 4GWh to 5.3GWh up to Q3 next year.

This investment will include the expansion of existing infrastructure with automated, state-of-the-art machinery in the battery plant. 

The remaining €20 million ($24 million) is being invested to expand its lithium-ion battery assembly plants in Verona, Italy, and North Carolina, US.

Those plants will install three automated assembly lines for lithium modules and complete lithium battery systems, as well as one assembly line for prototyping and R&D purposes.

This investment is part of the company’s goal to offer integrated lithium products for off-road mobility, industrial use, and energy storage applications. 

Production is anticipated to begin by Q3 next year and deliver 1.7GWh of manufacturing capacity a year, while additional space reserved with the potential to increase capacity up to 4GWh.

This latest investment brings Sunlight’s total committed CAPEX spend for 2021-2023 to €180 million ($213 million), with €150million ($170 million) committed to the expansion of lithium production. 

Sunlight’s CEO Lampros Bisalas said: "The investment is already under implementation, and we’re excited for the new, state-of-the art machinery to be installed and further expand our capabilities.

“We’re keen to meet both current and future demands in the off-road mobility and RES energy storage, by scaling up capacity and rendering our Xanthi industrial park a true gigafactory.”

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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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Showa Denko to sell lead-battery business interests for $540m

Fri, 07/16/2021 - 09:55 -- paul Crompton
Showa Denko headquarters

Battery maker Showa Denko is set to sell its underperforming lead-acid operations for a reported 60 billion yen ($540 million). 

The Japanese firm sold its interests in the lead-acid battery market to investment firm Sustainable Battery Solutions, which is operated by Sustainable Battery Holdings (whose largest shareholders are the investment fund Advantage Partners and financial services company Tokyo Century), according to news outlet Nikkei Asia.

Lead battery firms CSB Energy Technology and Thai Energy Storage Technology Public Company are part of a wider company split and incorporation of a new operating company called Energy Storage Devices Spin-Off Preparation.

The transaction will be concluded on the condition that SBS obtains the clearances and licenses necessary under the domestic and international competition laws and other laws and regulations. 

Showa Denko Materials, the consolidated subsidiary of Showa Denko, shall be the splitting company and new company will be the successor company when the split happens this December.

The moves comes as Showa Denko announced it will record an extraordinary loss of about 30 billion yen ($270 million) for the first half of the year. 

 
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Hybrid lead-acid and lithium-ion ESS to power GS Yuasa’s UK battery plant

Thu, 07/01/2021 - 11:00 -- paul Crompton
ADEPT Hybrid lead-acid and lithium-ion ESS to power GS Yuasa’s UK battery plant

Renewable power developer Infinite has launched a project that combines wind turbines and solar photovoltaic with a hybrid lead-acid and lithium energy storage system.

The project began with the installation of a 1MWh rooftop solar system at Japanese-headquartered GS Yuasa’s factory in south Wales where the lead-acid battery is made. 

An assembly line is due to be installed at the Welsh manufacturing site to produce lithium-ion battery modules.

The Energy Centre project will link renewables with GS Yuasa’s ADEPT ESS that was developed alongside the University of Sheffield and Innovate UK.

GS Yuasa’s ADEPT ESS that was developed alongside the University of Sheffield and Innovate.

Shaun Gardner, managing director, GS Yuasa Manufacturing UK, said the unique combination of lithium and lead-acid batteries allowed for the storage of energy generated by either solar or wind to be used at a later date.

Last August, GS Yuasa delivered a 100kW hybrid system to Portsmouth International Port as part of the Port Energy Systems Optimisation (PESO) project. 

The battery system will be used to charge electric cars and peak shifting services as the port demonstrates how it can operate as a smart energy network.

GS Yuasa has received 2.5 million ($3.4 million) in funding from the Welsh Government to help it increase production of its batteries, which include valve regulated lead-acid.

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Grant centralises lead-acid battery case recycling

Fri, 06/18/2021 - 12:17 -- paul Crompton

KC Recycling is set to create a facility for recycling the plastic cases from lead-acid batteries following a ($852,000) grant.

The cash from CleanBC Plastics Action Fund will jumpstart a CAD$1.2 million ($991,000) plant upgrade that will include a Polypropylene Extruding Operation at the Trail, British Columbia, plant in Canada.

Previously the plant exported its unfinished plastic regrind to polypropylene compounders, where it was pelletised to meet manufacturers' requirements. 

The new plant will be able to do this with an on-site washing, extrusion, and pelletising laboratory. 

KC Recycling will test the refined material to ensure it meets customer specifications before shipping it to battery manufacturers for use in new batteries.

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Exide increases the ‘green’ credentials of its lead batteries even further

Fri, 05/28/2021 - 10:31 -- paul Crompton
Exide increases the ‘green’ credentials of its lead batteries even further

Exide Technologies has updated its range of after market lead-acid batteries with a focus on using recycled plastic for its boxes and lids to reduce their environmental impact.

The France headquartered firm’s design uses recycled plastic instead of virgin polipropylene (PP) for its a spill and spark-proof security lid.

The new design will be introduced to all of Exide Technologies’ top-of-the-line conventional batteries, with its Exide Premium also using its proprietary Carbon Boost 2.0 technology that uses carbon additives on the negative plates.

The new batteries can be manufactured on existing production lines, with the new design of boxes and lids not requiring any special upgrades of the production lines besides ordinary adjustments.

In its purchasing contract, Exide specifies the boxes and lids bought from outside suppliers are made of recycled plastic instead of virgin PP. 

Guido Scanagatta, senior product manager EMEA at Exide Technologies, told BEST: “We have a material and manufacturing process validation system that is specific to RPP (Reprocessed Polipropylene), which covers several checks on material (dimensions and performance) and adjustment of some parameters in the assembly line (lid to box and secondary lid to main lid thermo welding process mostly).

“Generally, the boxes and the lids are made with injection molding process using either molten virgin or reprocessed PP. The same mold can normally use both materials.”

Exide says the change will lead to savings each manufacturing year of: 2,700 tons of CO2, 8 million litres of water and 1.2 million litres of crude oil.

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California’s DTSC removes lead-acid batteries from its toxic watch list

Wed, 05/19/2021 - 08:14 -- paul Crompton
oger Miksad, executive vice president of BCI,

Lead-acid batteries have been removed from a list of priority products and chemicals under review for potential regulation in the US.

The California's Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) ‘2021-23 Priority Product Work Plan’ document omits the batteries for the first time since 2018.

The plan is released every three years under the organisation’s Safer Consumer Products Program (SCPP).

A technical document summarising the information DTSC’s relied on to make its decision is due to be published later this year.

The Battery Council International (BCI) welcomed the news.

A BCI statement said the DTSC’s decision to refrain from listing lead batteries as a “Priority Product” in the SCPP sent an important signal to the energy marketplace.

The organisation hopes the decision will encourage continued investment in lead batteries. 

Roger Miksad, executive vice president of BCI, said: “This outcome is the right one and recognises that lead batteries are critical to meeting America’s energy storage needs and are already well-regulated. 

“The industry’s highly successful closed-loop recycling system and investment in new technologies and innovations also means that lead batteries hold the promise of delivering safe, sustainable energy storage in the future.” 

The agency's decision reflects an evaluation of potential life cycle impacts, current regulations and ongoing product innovation in the lead battery industry.

Lead batteries were placed on the 2018-2020 Priority Product Work Plan, in part, because of lead contamination concerns surrounding the closed Exide battery recycling facility in California.

The report noted: “Based on the findings of our work, we concluded that listing lead-acid batteries as a priority product is not likely to further enhance protection to human health, given that billions of dollars are already being invested worldwide in researching new, safer battery technologies.” 

The SCPP Program will hold a public workshop on lead-acid batteries this summer. 

DTSC will provide short summaries of the ongoing work of the Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Facility Investigation and Cleanup (LABRIC) Program and the Lithium-Ion Car Battery Recycling Advisory Group as context for its decision. 

A BCI statement read: “Lead batteries are a proven technology powering motor vehicles, cargo handling equipment, medical devices, telecommunications infrastructure, microgrids and many other applications across California in a safe, reliable, cost effective and sustainable manner. 

“Ongoing improvements in design and performance position lead batteries as a cornerstone energy storage technology to enable greater utilization of renewable energy resources and 24/7 reliability for residential properties and commercial buildings.”

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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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Battery maker GS Yuasa celebrates 40 years of lead-acid production in Wales

Tue, 05/18/2021 - 08:04 -- paul Crompton
Battery maker GS Yuasa celebrates 40 years of lead-acid production in Wales

GS Yuasa Battery Manufacturing UK is celebrating 40 years of lead-acid battery making in South Wales.

Established in 1981, the company has produced more than 85 million batteries at their Ebbw Vale production facility.

More than 60% of sales are exported, mainly within Europe.

The first plant was a single, 4,700m² factory, but the site has since grown to more than 27,000m² as additional factories were built in 1987, 1988 and 1994. 

Initially established as Yuasa Battery UK, the company name changed to GS Yuasa Battery Manufacturing UK Ltd in 2017 as part of the global roll out of the parent company name from Japan. 

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India’s second biggest lead-acid battery maker has manufacturing suspension lifted

Mon, 05/17/2021 - 08:45 -- paul Crompton
India’s second biggest lead-acid battery maker has manufacturing suspension lifted

Indian firm Amara Raja Batteries has restarted the manufacturing of lead-acid batteries following the closure of two of its plants last month.

The company resumed operations at its Nunegundlapalli and Karkambadi plants on 8 May after the High Court of Andhra Pradesh granted an interim suspension of the orders passed by Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB), according to India newspaper The Financial Times.

Amara received closure orders for the company's plants in Andhra Pradesh state on 30 April from APPCB.

The closure order was for allegedly violating the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, reported Indian newspapersThe Hindu.

The Hindu reported “The company has been charged with polluting ambient air, which resulted in the presence of high levels of lead in the blood of its employees and people of surrounding villages, discharging untreated wastewater into drains and untreated sewage into stormwater drains and causing soil contamination”.

In a statement, Amara Raja said it had taken proactive measures to ensure its obligations to supply products and services were met without causing any inconvenience; it was assessing the impact of the short-term disruption.

The Financial Times quoted an Amara Raja statement that read: “Continuing with its focus on the best-in-class systems and processes for environmental, safety and health practices, the company will continue to engage closely with APPCB to resolve any potential issues,.” Amara Raja Batteries noted: “We have taken proactive measures to ensure that all our obligations to supply products and services to our customers are met in a timely manner without causing any inconvenience, whatsoever.”

Amara did not reply to BEST’s questions.

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