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lead-acid batteries

Metair boosts profit on back of strong battery operations

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 12:08 -- John Shepherd
Metair MD Theo Loock

South Africa-based automotive and energy storage group Metair Investments has posted increased operating profit for 2018— boosted by its lead-acid operations in Turkey and Romania.

Metair said group operating profit for the year ended 31 December 2018 increased by 19% to just over ZAR1 billion (US$69 million) compared to the previous year. Revenue for 2018 was ZAR10.28bn, an increase of 8% compared to 2017.

Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 9.4% to ZAR1.33bn.

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Monbat eyes expansion to make bipolar batteries in Bulgaria

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Alan Bobokov

Bulgarian lead-acid company Monbat has confirmed proposals for a major expansion of its manufacturing operations in the country to produce bipolar batteries under licence from US-based Advanced Battery Concepts (ABC).

Monbat’s licensing deal for ABC’s GreenSeal bipolar lead technology was announced earlier this year— but neither company would say where the batteries might be made.

However, BEST Battery Briefing has now confirmed Monbat has taken the first steps towards building a 2.4 gigawatt-hour plant in Vratsa, Bulgaria, especially for the production of bipolar batteries.

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‘Reprieve in sight’ for lead-acid as proposed EU ban shelved

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Johann-Friedrich Dempwolff

Lead battery makers are poised to win a reprieve from European proposals that threatened to kill off the industry by imposing an in-effect ban on the use of four lead compounds, BEST Battery Briefing has learned.

Industry leaders had warned thousands of battery jobs risked being axed in Europe and ‘exported’ to competitors if the European Commission moved to add the compounds— all of which are “irreplaceable in lead battery production”— to the EU’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) authorisation list.

However, the Brussels-based Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers— Eurobat— has told BBB it understands the Commission is not now recommending the inclusion of lead monoxide, lead tetroxide, pentalead tetraoxide sulfate and tetralead trioxide sulfate on the REACH list.

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Eurobat bid to curb ‘lost’ EV batteries

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Europe is being urged to overhaul regulations to ensure more lithium-ion batteries are kept in the bloc for recycling— instead of being ‘lost’ when end-of-life electric vehicles are exported to be scrapped.

The Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers, Eurobat, has warned the “relative scarcity of these batteries entering the recycling stream is currently preventing the development of a business case for recyclers”.

This makes lithium-based EV batteries a net ‘taker’ of raw materials, Eurobat said.

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Daramic expands production at sites in Asia

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

US-based lead-acid separator manufacturer Daramic has announced the opening of new polyethylene battery separator production lines in China and Thailand, to “support the growing demand” of customers primarily in Asia.

The introduction of one additional manufacturing line in Tianjin, China will double the company’s capacity at the location, while the new manufacturing line in Prachinburi, Thailand will increase capacity at the location by 20%.

As well as meeting Asian demand, the expansions will enable Daramic to balance operations globally in order to supply customers regionally, meaning that capacity that was previously “utilised to meet Asia demand can now be diverted to support customers in other global regions”.

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Germany’s Jungheinrich and Triathlon launch batteries joint venture

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

German firms Triathlon Batteries and Jungheinrich have formed a joint venture company “focused on the production and recycling of lithium-ion battery systems”.

Jungheinrich, known as a forklift truck manufacturer, will have a 70% majority stake in the new company— JT Energy Systems— which is set to start operations in Glauchau in August 2019.

The partners, who both produce a range of lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, are staying tight-lipped about details of the new business and did not respond to BEST Battery Briefing’s requests for interviews.

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Enersys extends reach into lithium with new motive power battery

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

US-based lead-acid battery maker Enersys has continued its push into the lithium sector by expanding its range of ‘NexSys’ motive power batteries.

Enersys said it is set to introduce advanced lithium-ion technology to the Nexsys line of high-performance motive power batteries with the launch of Nexsys ion this year.

The company said its expanded range will encompass superior thin plate pure lead (TPPL) and lithium-ion batteries “to offer a full spectrum of intelligent and flexible power options’ FOR electric material handling vehicles.

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Support for battery storage ‘bridges US political divide’

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Mark Takano

Energy storage and support for advanced batteries research such as lead-acid has emerged as a rare issue to unite US legislators across the current political divide.

A Capitol Hill briefing organised by Battery Council International saw Republican and Democrat representatives stress the need for research into energy storage was a key “area of alignment” for both main parties.

Representatives Mark Takano (Democrat) and Chris Collins (Republican), who serve as co-chairs of the Advanced Energy Storage Caucus, were among those attending the briefing.

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China promotes ‘eco’ lead batteries plan with illegal recycling crackdown

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

China is to crack down on illegal lead recycling and launch a “traceability system” to promote advances in lead battery development as a “backbone” national industry.

The environment ministry said the government wants to “promote the standardised and orderly development of lead storage battery production and lead recycling”.

The ministry’s ‘action plan’— which has been seen by BEST Battery Briefing— said lead battery manufacturers will be encouraged to develop “ecological designs” for new batteries and to “increase the proportion of recycled raw materials” used in production.

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ABC Crowns bipolar licensing with sixth deal

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Hal Hawk

US deep-cycle lead firm Crown Battery Manufacturing has acquired licensing rights to Advanced Battery Concepts’ (ABC) bipolar lead-acid technology— strengthening its support for the company.

The agreement is ABC’s sixth GreenSeal technology licensing deal and comes less than two years after Crown president Hal Hawk made an undisclosed investment in ABC.

Hawk said the licensing rights “will allow us to decide how best to use it in our market space”.

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