France’s Saft and Chinese lead-acid battery group Tianneng Energy Technology have formed a joint venture (JV) to expand lithium-ion manufacturing and “scale up e-mobility and energy storage businesses”.
The JV will “primarily focus on the development, manufacturing and sales of advanced lithium-ion cells, modules and packs”. Production will be based at Tianneng’s Changxing factory, with a potential annual manufacturing capacity of 5.5GWh.
“This is a first strategic move driven by Total, following its acquisition of Saft in 2016,” said Patrick Pouyanné (pictured) CEO of Total, the French battery manufacturer’s parent company. “The JV will allow Saft to join forces with a Chinese partner, a world leading lead-acid battery manufacturer, willing to develop its lithium-ion activities.“
This comes just weeks after Pouyanné said Europe had “lost its edge” in terms of battery manufacturing, and that “the Chinese are now the world leaders in renewable energy”.
Tianneng chairman Tianren Zhang said: “Saft’s outstanding reputation for high quality products will be crucial in providing the JV with the market credibility vital to expand our business.”
Saft will hold a 40% stake in the JV, with Tianneng holding the remaining shares.