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Multi-national project aims to take the vanadium out of flow batteries

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 14:32 -- Paul Crompton

Basque research centre CIC energiGUNE is leading a European-wide project to develop next generation redox organic flow batteries. 

The project aims to demonstrate that organic flow batteries can be a sustainable alternative to vanadium batteries, a material included in the list of critical raw materials by the European Commission.

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Battery maker Varta buys back its consumer brand amid EC competition concerns

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 14:44 -- Paul Crompton

Battery maker Varta has bought back Europe-based Varta Consumer Batteries 18 years after selling it to US company Rayovac Corporation (latterly Spectrum Brands) for $262 million.

The German manufacturer completed the buy out of the company for an enterprise value of €180 million ($200 million) from US-based Energizer Holdings subject to a closing balance sheet to be prepared on the closing date. 

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Bank extends loan to LG Chem as it forges ahead with European lithium-ion gigafactory plans

Wed, 11/27/2019 - 15:57 -- Paul Crompton

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has extended a long-term loan of €250 million ($275 million) to support the construction of Korean battery maker LG Chem’s European lithium-ion gigafactory.

The company is set to build a battery production plant in Wrocław in western Poland in three phases.

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Firm reveals plans for Africa’s first lithium-ion gigafactory to supply the energy storage and EV markets

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:56 -- Paul Crompton

With a raw battery materials supply to rival anywhere in the world, Africa seems the perfect place to build a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant, yet North America, Europe and Asia have been the locations of choice— until now.

The Megamillion Energy Company aims to be Africa’s first large-scale producer of lithium-ion batteries and plans to build a 32GWh per year facility by 2028 for both the energy storage and electric vehicle markets.

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Lead-acid operator Metair selects Romania for first LIB line

Thu, 08/15/2019 - 14:14 -- Paul Crompton
South Africa, Metair Investments, Europe, lead–acid, lithium-ion, battery, Romania.

South Africa-based Metair Investments, whose group includes European lead–acid operations, is to commission its first lithium-ion battery production line in Romania.

Managing director of the automotive and energy storage group, Theo Loock, said the facility would be commissioned at the end of November, but he gave no details of the line’s production capacity or exact location.

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‘Frustration’ leads team to solid-state Li breakthough

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 14:17 -- Paul Crompton
Student solid state batteries © Lunghammer - TU Graz

European scientists have made a breakthrough in developing a solid-state electrolyte they claim has the same conductivity levels as liquid.

The team from Graz University of Technology, the Technical University of Munich and Belgian university UCLouvain, have developed a crystalline ionic conductor, which exhibits high lithium-ion mobility.

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EU-US firms ink deal for 100MWh Slovakia battery plant

Thu, 08/01/2019 - 12:33 -- Paul Crompton
EU-US firms ink deal for 100MWh Slovakia battery plant

European battery maker InoBat and US materials firm Wildcat Discovery Technologies have signed a deal that paves the way for a 100MWh battery production line to be built in Slovakia.

Construction on the €100 million (US$111m) plant in the Danube Valley is expected to begin in the first half of next year, with the first batteries ready for distribution around 18 months later.

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Savannah eyes batteries market in bid for Portugal mine ownership

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:22 -- John Shepherd
Savannah CEO David Archer

Commodities developer Savannah Resources has said it will become the sole owner of Portugal’s Mina do Barroso lithium project in Portugal through an all-share offer valued at around US$11.9 million.

The UK-based developer, which already owns 75% of the project, said full ownership would “provide greater exposure of Europe’s most significant spodumene lithium deposit” as it’s developed and commercialised.

Savannah’s CEO David Archer (pictured) said the move was being made at a time when “legislators and battery end users in the region have come to appreciate the need for Europe to have domestic sources of battery raw materials as the region seeks to reduce emissions from the transport sector via the transition to electric vehicles (EVs)”.

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Irish regulator rules on commercial battery storage levy

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:30 -- John Shepherd

Commercial battery storage units in Ireland will now be required to pay a levy charged to all electricity customers to support renewable energy generation, the country’s Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has announced.

The CRU said the Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy will only be imposed on commercial storage units based on their “house load” when offline, rather than on the total amount of electricity imported from the grid, stored, and then exported.

As battery storage units take electricity from the grid when there is surplus generation, store it, and then feed electricity back to the grid in profitable peak demand periods, there had been uncertainty over whether they should be subject to the levy. The levy is normally imposed on electricity customers who are supplied with electricity at a single site for consumption on those premises.

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Investment booster for Pb recycling process in UK

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:02 -- John Shepherd

Aurelius Environmental, which is pioneering a lead-acid battery recycling process in the UK, is to invest £1.5 million (US$1.9m) in advanced ‘green’ technology after securing a debt funding package.

Miles Freeman, CEO of Aurelius and former operations director of Ecobat Technologies, said the business would invest in machinery that “produces virtually zero waste— allowing us to provide a more sustainable and environmentally friendly process to the market”.

The announcement comes less than two years after Aurelius and research partner Cambridge University were awarded an EU grant of €1.3m ($1.5m) to develop ‘Fenixpb’— a hydrometallurgical process that produces lead oxide directly from spent batteries.

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