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Lithium-ion

SolarEdge to acquire majority stake in Korea’s Kokam

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

US energy tech firm SolarEdge Technologies is to acquire a majority stake in South Korea battery manufacturer Kokam, ahead of plans to take full control of the company.

The acquisition of around 75% of outstanding equity shares of Kokam reflects an aggregate investment of approximately US$88 million, including related transaction expenses, SolarEdge said. 

The deal is expected to close in the coming weeks and SolarEdge plans to buy the remaining outstanding equity shares of Kokam— with the aim of Kokam becoming a subsidiary.

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Renault to use EV batteries for ‘biggest stationary BESS’

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Renault BESS

The Renault car group has unveiled plans to build “the biggest stationary energy storage system using electric vehicle batteries ever designed in Europe” by 2020.

Renault said the 70-megawatt/60 megawatt-hour system will be installed across three sites in France and Germany— at Renault plants in Douai and Cleon, and at a former coal-fired plant in North Rhine-Westphalia. 

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Saft recharges investment in India

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Saft to invest in Indian rail infrastructure

French battery manufacturer Saft has bought out its India joint venture partner, Amco, as part of an expansion plan under the newly-established Saft India brand.

Saft is to expand production at its factory in Bidadi, Karnataka, including the addition of a new lithium-ion battery line.

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‘Pragmatism needed’ to create EU battery industry

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Chris Herron

In a carefully worded swipe at the European Chemicals Agency (ECA), Eurometaux’s Chris Herron (pictured) has warned of the need for pragmatism with regard to the battery industry— when it comes to creating a low-carbon European future with batteries at the very centre of things.

Herron, public affairs manager for Eurometeaux, which represents the non-ferrous metals industry, told the International Congress for Battery Recycling in Berlin last week, a three-part solution was needed to create a new European battery industry— a circular economy, a battery action plan and a non-toxic environment— a loaded phrase, because Herron recognised that in order to make batteries, hazardous metals are inevitably involved.

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Mitsui bolsters material production on batteries demand

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 12:10 -- Hugh Finzel
Mitsui Chemicals logo

Japanese chemicals company Mitsui has expanded production of its “ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene for lithium-ion battery separators in response to growing demand from the automotive and industrial sectors.

Mitsui said additional facilities for its Hi-Zex Million product have boosted production by around 15% to some 8,500 tons per year.

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Amara Raja to launch LIB assembly plant

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 14:40 -- Hugh Finzel
Amara Raja logo

Indian lead-acid battery maker Amara Raja reportedly plans to build a lithium-ion battery pack assembly plant in Andhra Pradesh in the south-east of India.

The move comes amid an upsurge of battery-related activity as manufacturers look to solidify their share of the domestic market for electric vehicle battery packs, which is expected to be worth around US$300 billion by 2030.

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New German centre to boost electrochemical storage research

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 12:35 -- John Shepherd
Celest research. Photo: Laila Tkotz, KIT

Scientists in Germany have launched what they say is the country’s largest study to date of electrochemical storage systems.

The Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage Ulm & Karlsruhe (Celest) will focus on lithium-ion batteries, post-lithium technologies, fuel cells, and redox-flow batteries to “accelerate research, academic education, development, and technology transfer”.

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SK Innovation ‘building first China battery plant’

Tue, 08/28/2018 - 12:10 -- John Shepherd

SK Innovation has reportedly started building its first battery cells giga plant in China – with the goal of establishing a production “triangle” encompassing China, Korea and Europe.

The South Korea-based company, whose businesses include oil refining and chemicals, told local media it had started preparing the site for the new factory in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province.

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Battery ‘first’ for Australian gas plant

Tue, 08/21/2018 - 16:46 -- John Shepherd
Mt Stuart Power Station

A grid-scale battery being installed at an Australian gas-fired power station is said to be a “first” for the country.

Power company Origin told BEST Battery Briefing the four-megawatt lithium-ion battery at its Mt Stuart Power Station, in Townsville, would improve security of electricity supply to homes and businesses across North Queensland.

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BP invests in batteries for China’s ‘new energy’ market

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 09:24 -- John Shepherd

Oil multinational BP is investing US$10 million in a fund aimed at powering the expansion of battery production and R&D for China’s new energy vehicle (NEV) industry.

The oil giant’s investment arm, BP Ventures, is investing in the NIO Capital US Dollar Fund to support work into “new materials including batteries, electric vehicles and related technologies, new energy infrastructure”.

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