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China deploys world’s first sodium-ion grid-scale battery ESS

Wed, 07/14/2021 - 09:01 -- Paul Crompton
China deploys world’s first sodium-ion grid-scale battery ESS

The world’s first grid–scale energy storage system has been deployed in China, according to domestic news outlets.

The system was officially put into operation in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, and is combined with municipal power, solar and charging facilities to form a micro-grid, reported English language newspaper The Global Times.

The system’s major developer was the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, which has worked on the technology for 10 years.

The institute first demonstrated a 100kWh sodium-ion battery in 2019.

China has proposed a target of carbon neutrality by 2060, and is expected to widely use sodium-ion in a variety of sectors including: electric vehicles, home or industrial energy storage, 5G communication base stations and renewable energy.

Last month, UK battery maker Faradion announced that lithium-ion battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) would begin making sodium-ion batteries from July.

Image: The 100kWh Na-ion battery-based power station deployed by the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Science in 2019

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China on verge of banning large-scale ESSs using second-life lithium-ion batteries

Thu, 07/01/2021 - 10:19 -- Paul Crompton
China large-scale ESS lithium-ion batteries

Is China on the verge of banning the use of second-life lithium-ion batteries in large-scale energy storage systems (ESS) amid a spate of fires this year?

The halt will continue until a “breakthrough in battery consistency management technology and a sound power battery performance testing and evaluation system” is developed, according to reports from China media group Caixing.

The ceasing of secondary battery use follows the National Energy Administration issued a draft report ‘Regulations for the Management of New Energy Storage Projects’ on June 22.

What capacity constitutes “large-scale” is not clear.

The Caixing report stated: “According to industry sources, there are few energy storage projects that can be called cascade utilization of large-scale power batteries. In addition, the document does not specify the criteria for defining "large-scale" projects.”

The draft also proposes that completed and operating projects should be regularly evaluated and monitored, and supervision should be strengthened.

Cascade utilisation generally refers to using a battery with less than 80% capacity in EESs for commercial and residential, and telecom base station applications.

In January, an explosion at a China recycling plant owned by lithium-ion battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) killed one person and injured 19 more.

In April, two firefighters died when they were putting out a fire in an energy storage power station in Fengtai District of Beijing, according to the China Daily news outlet.

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JAC Motors partners with CBAK to design lithium-ion batteries for China’s EV market

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 10:55 -- Paul Crompton

China-based lithium-ion battery manufacturer CBAK Energy Technology has signed a three-year strategic agreement with state-owned vehicle OEM Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC Motors).

The strategic agreement will combine the former's battery knowledge in the research, development, and manufacturing of battery cells with the latter's technology capabilities in the electric vehicle industry. 


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BYD builds on its closed loop dream with second-life lithium-ion battery partnership

Tue, 01/05/2021 - 14:34 -- Paul Crompton

Chinese battery OEM and electric vehicle maker BYD will transform old batteries into energy storage systems through a partnership with Chinese lithium-ion recycling start-up Pandpower and Japanese trading house Itochu.

Old battery packs from buses, taxis and other vehicles manufactured by BYD will be collected from dealerships across China and turned into ship-container-sized power units for renewable energy and factories.

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Tesla secures five-year supply of lithium in deal with China’s Yahua

Mon, 01/04/2021 - 11:01 -- Paul Crompton

US electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla has signed a five-year deal to receive battery-grade lithium hydroxide from China’s Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group. 

The total value of the contract, signed by Yahua's wholly-owned subsidiary Yaan Lithium, is $630-$880 million and lasts up to 2025, according to news outlet Reuters, which quoted a filing by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

The cost value translated into a total lithium hydroxide procurement amount of 63,000-88,000 tonnes, or 12,600-17,600 tonnes per annum, according to analysts at Daiwa Capital Markets.

Last May, Yahua commissioned a 20,000 tonnes per year lithium hydroxide plant in Yaan city into operation, more than doubling its previous capacity.

It already sources lithium - an ingredient in EV batteries - from China’s Ganfeng Lithium, one of the world’s top lithium producers.

In 2018, Tesla signed a deal to receive a fifth of China's largest lithium compounds producer, Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium’s production. Under the terms of the agreement, Tesla also designated its battery suppliers to buy lithium-hydroxide products from Ganfeng.

In 2019, Ganfeng Lithium finalised a $160 million investment deal to raise its stake in Argentina’s Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine project to 50%. Ganfeng Lithium now partners with Canada’s Lithium Americas in a 50-50 joint venture that will develop and operate the project.

LoI signals Turkey’s intent to create domestic lithium-ion dependence

Thu, 10/29/2020 - 13:24 -- Paul Crompton

China lithium-ion battery maker Farasis Energy has signed a letter of intent to manufacturer battery modules in Turkey with a consortium aiming to bring domestic electric vehicles to the country.

Farasis will supply lithium-ion cells that will be jointly developed and produced into battery modules for EVs in partnership with Turkey’s automobile joint venture group TOGG. 

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Europe to grasp quarter of lithium-ion production market as global capacity quadruples to 1.3 TWh

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 15:18 -- Paul Crompton

Global lithium-ion cell manufacturing capacity could rise fourfold compared to last year's figures to reach 1.3TWh in 2030 thanks in part to the rise of gigafactories being built in Europe, according to industry analysts Wood Mackenzie.

The company’s report shows that 119 battery manufacturing facilities that are operational, under construction or announced by more than 50 vendors will increase global battery making capacity. 

Asia will continue to dominate the industry, with the area’s manufacturers— CATL, LG Chem, BYD, and SK Innovation— leading in the capacity arms race. 

Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Mitalee Gupta said: “Manufacturing capacity in Asia Pacific accounts for 80% of global capacity pipeline. The region will remain the leader of lithium-ion battery production for the next decade.  

“Within Asia Pacific, China dominates the pipeline capacity and is expected to double its capacity from 345GWh this year to more than 800GWh by 2030. 

“In addition to local vendors’ rapid expansion in China, foreign manufacturers such as LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation have also been adding new lines after they became eligible for subsidies from the Chinese government in 2019.” 

However, emerging European vendors such as Northvolt in Norway, ACC— the joint venture between Saft and PSA Group (8GWh production plant rising to 24GWh) and Britishvolt could push Europe’s market share from 7% of global capacity, to around a quarter in 2030 amid growing demand for batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage. 

Growth will also be driven by Asian manufacturers investing heavily in new plants in Europe, including: CATL’s Erfurt Plant (Germany), LG Chem’s Wroclaw Plant (Poland), and Samsung SDI’s Goed Plant (Hungary). 

The Americas will maintain its share for the next decade, suggest WoodMac, with pipeline capacity concentrated in the US, and led by Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada. 

In terms of battery chemistry, NMC is the mainstream chemistry in operating facilities, followed by LFP. However, announced capacity is often unspecified due to constantly advancing battery technologies and changing market preference. 

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VW Group signs $1.4B battery deal with Wanxinag Group to ensure security of supply in China

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 08:29 -- Paul Crompton

China battery maker Wanxinag Group has secured a $1.4 billion deal to supply German vehicle OEM Volkswagen Group (VW) with lithium-ion batteries.

The deal, through the China firm’s subsidary Wanxiang A123 (Wanxiang bought battery maker A123 in 2012), gives VW a second China lithium-ion cell supplier alongside Contempoary Aperex Technology (CATL). 

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Lithium-ion battery giant CATL raises almost $3billion through private share placement

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 14:38 -- Paul Crompton

China lithium-ion battery giant Contemporary Amperax Technology (CATL) has closed a funding round that attracted 19.7 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) from nine investors.

The round saw cash pour in from banking giants UBS (1.1 billion yuan, $157 million) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (1.5 billion yuan, $215 million), and a subsidiary of Japanese automaker Honda Motor— according to Chinese media group Caixin.

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CATL and Honda sign agreement to develop new energy vehicle batteries

Thu, 07/16/2020 - 09:24 -- Paul Crompton

Battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) is partnering with vehicle OEM Honda to develop new lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles as well as recycling. 

The agreement will strengthen the companies’ strategic partnership and allow both firms to conduct joint development on EV batteries and conduct joint R&D into fundamental technologies. 

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