German lithium-ion battery developer and producer BMZ is considering partnering with a Japanese company to launch a battery cell production plant in Europe, BBB can reveal.
BMZ founder and managing director Sven Bauer (pictured) said the move is a “serious option” for the company “and makes sense”, as it seeks to widen its supply chain and production capabilities.
Bauer said the move would also help combat “delivery problems” he said the firm had experienced with cells from suppliers in South Korea.
And he also revealed BMZ is in preliminary talks to secure additional battery cell supplies from China.
Bauer declined to give details about the South Korean situation, saying only “we are facing issues that they don’t stick to the contracts”. Industry insiders told BBB problems have included unapproved “changes to specifications” by BMZ suppliers in Korea.
However, Bauer said there “is no way” BMZ would move away from South Korea as a supplier, “because the market is driven by them and the Japanese”.
On China, Bauer said the company was “not yet” taking any supplies from firms in the country, but he said BMZ “is already starting to implement our own supplies of raw materials through a sub-supplier there”. He said low energy and labour costs in Asia were a key factor in the move.
Nevertheless, any deal involving China could be at least two years away “because we need to go into very great detail in areas such as the processing of the raw materials before selecting the right partner”.
BMZ already has a presence in China following the launch in 2006 of a lithium-ion battery development, testing, sales and production facility in Shenzhen.