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Belgium

NGK and BASF launch sodium-sulfur battery ESS test project in Belgium

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 10:13 -- paul Crompton

Operations using sodium-sulfur (NaS) batteries have begun in Belgium three years after a NGK Insulators and BASF New Business (BNB) entered into a sales partnership agreement to develop the technology.

The NGK supplied batteries are connected to the power grid at an Antwerp Verbund site owned by German chemical group BASF, of which BNB is a wholly owned subsidiary.

The project aims to develop a business model by allowing BNB to gain direct experience in long-term operations of a NaS battery system.

Learnings from examining various use cases will enable the firms to advise end users in the planning and implementation of NaS projects and to collect data for further development.

The system comprises of a maximum 1,000kW-dc power and 5,800kWh-dc dischargeable energy and four sets of containerised NAS batteries.

BASF’s facility started operation in September 2021.

In 2019, NGK and BNB entered into sales partnership agreement for NAS battery and a joint development agreement for next-generation sodium-sulfur batteries.

Since then, the firms have been cooperating by combining NGK’s expertise in battery design and production with BNB’s chemistry know-how to market and further develop NAS batteries.

In April, NGK won an order to supply its NaS technology to the Tanegashima Space Center of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The batteries will be used to ensure the reliable launch of vehicles from the space center, as well as improving the reliability of its electric power systems, including: emergency backup power source (backup power supply for electrical generators), frequency stabilisation and energy conservation.

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Ecobat buys battery distributor Emrol as it strengthens hold within EU market

Tue, 11/02/2021 - 10:37 -- paul Crompton

Lead producer and battery recycler Ecobat has bolstered its position in Europe with the buyout of Belgium-based industrial battery distributor Emrol.

The Texas, US, based firm said the acquisition complements its operations by allowing it to serve customers in Europe with “solutions and services” for energy storage.

This acquisition expands Ecobat’s offerings of batteries in non-automotive markets such as motive power and niche e-mobility markets.

Emrol distributes a range of battery types, including lithium-ion and lead-acid.

Ecobat chief executive officer Jimmy Herring, said: "As a leading distributor of motive power solutions used in industrial applications, this strategic acquisition of Emrol underscores our continued strategy to grow Ecobat Battery across Europe."

This acquisition expands Ecobat’s footprint throughout the Benelux region (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg)

European expansion

In August, Ecobat bought lithium-ion battery recycler Promesa as it looked to gain a hold in the European EV battery recycling market, which is expected to be worth $4.7 billion in 10 years, according to Ecobat.

Ecobat’s buy-out of the Hettstedt, Germany, firm gave Ecobat a full suite of recycling services for lithium-ion batteries, from collecting, discharging and dismantling batteries, to crushing and sorting them and arranging for black mass disposal.

The company said that Promesa’s strategic location in the vehicle manufacturing and lithium battery centre of Germany provided a “crucial entry point” for battery access and OEM factory scrap. 

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Lead refinery closed after fire at Umicore’s Belgium plant

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 09:58 -- paul Crompton

Materials and recycling firm Umicore’s lead refinery plant in Hoboken, Belgium, has been shut down after a fire on 2 March— the third such incident at the plant within 30 months.

An investigation has been initiated to identify the cause of the fire, which began at 18:30 CET when the plant was closed for maintenance.

A Umicore statement read that while it was too soon to assess the scale of the damage to the impacted installation, the rest of the Hoboken plant remained in operation. 

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UK firm deploys grid-scale second-life lithium-ion energy storage system in Belgium

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 16:01 -- paul Crompton

UK company Connected Energy has commissioned its largest second-life battery energy storage system to date using repurposed electric vehicle packs from Renault. 

The 720kWh/1.2MW E-STOR system is installed at Umicore’s industrial site in Belgium and uses batteries from Kangoo vehicles.

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Umicore secures latest deals to ensure access to battery materials market

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 14:00 -- paul Crompton

Belgium multinational Umicore’s path to securing a raw and recycled lithium-ion battery materials supply chain saw two deals struck in as many weeks.

In a long line of deals in the past year, Umicore confirmed on 2 December it had completed the acquisition of the cobalt refining and cathode precursor activities in Kokkola, Finland.

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Umicore expands battery materials business with cobalt deal

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 10:45 -- John Shepherd
Umicore expands battery materials business with cobalt deal

Belgium’s Umicore is to acquire Freeport Cobalt’s cobalt refining and cathode precursor activities in Finland as an “important step” toward expanding the company’s battery materials business.

The deal, which is expected to be finalised by the end of 2019, is for a total consideration of US$150 million on a debt and cash free basis, plus the value of the working capital to be taken over at closing, which at the end of March was approximately $40m.

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CMI Energy launches mixed-tech BESS pilot in Belgium

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
CMI pilot project

Belgium-based engineering group CMI Energy has launched a full-scale pilot project that integrates solar with battery energy storage at the firm’s headquarters in Seraing.

The Micro Réseau Intégré Seraing (MiRIS) energy storage pilot plant comprises a 2MWp (megawatt peak— indicating the maximum output of a plant) 1.75 gigawatt-hours per year (GWh/yr) solar PV system, with 6,500 rooftop and carport panels. The 4.2 megawatt-hour energy storage system consists of a lithium-ion system and “two separate flow battery systems”.

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Solvay buys IP to boost lithium-ion credentials

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 13:27 -- Xuan Zhong
Solvay buys IP to boost lithium-ion credentials

European speciality chemicals firm Solvay has bought a materials portfolio to bolster its progression in the lithium-ion battery market.

Belgian firm Solvay’s Special Chem global business unit has bought a portfolio of high performance salts and additives for electrolytes from Dupont.

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Umicore expands NMC materials production in Asia

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 13:59 -- paul Crompton
Umicore expands NMC materials production in Asia

Belgium-based materials technology giant Umicore will spend $181 million on expanding its nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) production facilities in China and South Korea.

The expansion, which will mean total capacity will triple within three years, is in answer to the surge in demand for materials used in hybrid and electric vehicles, the company says.

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