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Lithium-ion

Vistra expansion makes project the world’s biggest lithium-ion ESS

Wed, 09/01/2021 - 14:38 -- paul Crompton
Vistra lithium-ion ESS

Power generation firm Vistra has completed the second phase of its record-breaking lithium-ion energy storage systems in Monterey County, US.

The 100MW expansion of the Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility brings the facility's total capacity to 400MW/1.6GWh— the largest of its kind in the world.

The battery system is being used to bolster reliability to California's grid using technology from LG Energy Solution.

Curt Morgan, chief executive officer at Vistra said: "This facility provides a solution California desperately needs and this expansion was able to come online at the right time, as the summer heat intensifies and demand for electricity is at its highest. 

“The state's laudable immense build-out of intermittent renewable power has both lowered emissions and presented a reliability challenge. 

“Our Moss Landing battery system helps to fill the reliability gap, storing the excess daytime power so it doesn't go to waste and then releasing it to the grid when it's needed most." 

The project was announced 15 months ago, with construction started in September 2020.

Phase one of the project, a 300MW/1.2GWh system made up of more than 4,500 stacked battery racks or cabinets, was connected to the power grid and began operating on 11 December.

The site has the space to support even further expansion up to 1.5GW MW/6GWh using Vistra’s existing site infrastructure, including existing transmission lines and grid interconnection. 

The 100-MW/400-MWh Phase II expansion is operating under a 10-year resource adequacy agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Phase I has a similar 20-year resource adequacy agreement with PG&E.

Earlier this month, Florida Power and Light's (FP&L) announced its Manatee Energy Storage Center in Manatee County, Florida was 75% complete, with 100 of its 132 battery units installed and all 132 inverters in place. 

When the Manatee site is completed and connected to the grid at the end of this year it will have capacity of 409MW/900MWh.

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Ganfeng Lithium reveals plans for 15GWh of lithium-ion battery production in China

Fri, 08/27/2021 - 13:41 -- paul Crompton
ganging lithium office

Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium has announced plans to build lithium-ion battery making plants totalling 15GWh in China.

The facilities are part of the company’s goal of making its subsidiary, Jiangxi Ganfeng LiEnergy Technology (JGLT), a leading player in the battery industry.

JGLT intends to invest RMB3 billion ($463 million) in a 5GWh plant in the High Tech Industrial Development Zone of Xinyu, Jiangxi Provence.

This project will include four battery production plants, battery R&D centre, and a product analysis and testing centre. 

The plant is due to be completed and put into operation in October 2023. 

The company will also invest RMB5.4 billion ($833 million) to set up a independent legal entity project company to build a “new-type lithium battery” 10GWh a year Science and Technology industrial park and an Advanced Battery Research Institute project in Liangjiang New District, Chongqing. 

The projects are due to be completed within 18 months of the unconfirmed start date of construction, and put into operation within six months of completion. 

The plans will be put into action if agreed during an extraordinary general meeting of the company on 31 August.

Solid-state battery tests

Jiangxi Ganfeng has signed a agreement with China's state-controlled automaker Dongfeng to develop, promote and demonstrate the viability of the latter’s E70 solid-state battery model.

The company will continue to expand its output of solid-state batteries beyond its existing 1GWh capacity within this year to support Dongfeng's new energy developments, reported media outlet Argus Media. 

Dongfeng is on target to complete listing its solid-state battery-equipped vehicle model this year and aims to begin deliveries in 2022. 

Ganfeng Lithium invested 2.2 billlion yuan ($340 million) to construct a facility with 7,000 t/yr of lithium metal and lithium material capacity in Yichuan city in south China's Jiangxi province in April.

Its second-generation solid-state battery is made from high-nickel ternary cathode and lithium metal containing anode material, which has an energy density of more than 350Wh/kg and can be cycled around 400 times. 

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Sumitomo pilot project delivers high purity nickel and cobalt from used lithium-ion batteries

Thu, 08/26/2021 - 09:23 -- paul Crompton

Sumitomo Metal Mining has recovered a high-purity nickel-cobalt mixture from used lithium-ion batteries.

The Japan firm has verified that nickel and cobalt recovered from secondary batteries can be reused as a raw material for lithium-ion cathodes. 

The materials produced at its pilot plant in Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture, performed as well as batteries using existing raw materials derived from natural resources, the company said. 

Additionally, Sumitomo was able to produce a soluble slag that enables lithium recovery by pyrometallurgical smelting processes. 

The company first developed a recycling process to recover cobalt at the pilot plant using a combination of pyrometallurgical smelting and hydrometallurgical refining processes in 2019.

Sumitomo is now able to recycle copper, nickel, cobalt and lithium from used batteries. 

In 2017, the existing smelting and refining processes at the Toyo Smelter & Refinery (Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture) and the Niihama Nickel Refinery (Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture) were used in the implementation of copper and nickel recycling.

A Sumitomo statement read: “The demand for the nickel and cobalt used in EVs is going to expand. 

“However, stable supply is a major issue, and there are unbalances in the regions producing these resources and the location of extraction technologies. Demand for recycling of these resources is growing greater than ever. 

“If we are able to commercialise this process, which has verified ‘battery to battery’ recycling, we expect to be able to take the domestic sustainable circular economy to the next level and to make contributions to resource recycling in response to global resource depletion.” 

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EVE announces 30GWh of battery capacity plans as it forms lithium-ion separator JV

Wed, 08/25/2021 - 12:02 -- paul Crompton

Chinese battery manufacturer EVE Energy plans to build two lithium-ion production facilities totalling 30GWh of capacity in the central province of Hubei.

EVE and its subsidiaries plan to build a 15GWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery project for logistics vehicles and household energy storage, and a 15GWh nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) battery project for passenger vehicles.               

The announcement follows EVE signing the Strategic Investment Agreement with the Administrative Committee of Jingmen High-tech Industrial Development Zone on 2 August. 

Construction schedules and launch dates were not announced. 

The agreement is a framework agreement, and the specific cooperation matters shall be subject to the separate contract signed by the Jingmen High-tech Zone Management Committee and EVE or EVE's subsidiary.

An EVE statement read: “This cooperation is conducive for both parties to give full play to their respective resources and advantages, expand the production capacity of power energy storage batteries, and further improve the diversified industrial layout of EVE.”

EVE Energy develops, produces and sells consumer batteries, including lithium galvanic, small lithium-ion and ternary cylindrical batteries; power batteries used in electric vehicles and their battery systems; as well as energy storage batteries.

EVE is one of the 10 largest battery manufacturers in China. 

Joint venture agreement

On 2 August, EVE entered into a joint venture (JV) with Yunnan Energy New Material (SEMCORP Group) to focus on the manufacturing of lithium-ion battery separator and coating film.

The expected annual capacity is 1.6 billion square meters of wet battery separators and corresponding coating films, which will prioritize supply to EVE and its subsidiaries. 

The total planned investment for the project is $805 million.

The Joint Venture Operating Agreement and supplementary agreement will see the parties establish the joint venture in Jingmen City.

The registered capital of the JV is $248 million , of which, SEMCORP’s designated investor subscribes $136 million and holds 55% of the equity of the joint venture JV while EVE subscribes $112 million and holds the remaining equity.

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‘Made-in-the US’ lithium-ion cell supply deal signed by Proterra and LGES

Wed, 08/25/2021 - 09:12 -- paul Crompton
 lithium-ion battery by Proterra

Electric vehicle and charging firm Proterra has finalised a six-year lithium-ion deal with LG Energy Solution that represents plans for “multiple GWhs of dedicated battery cell capacity” in the US.

The deal extends the firms existing battery-cell supply agreement, and secures Proterra a stable supply of LG Energy Solution (LGES)— a LG Chem subsidiary— battery cells through to 2028. 

The high nickel NCMA cells will be used to manufacture Proterra’s commercial electric vehicle battery systems.

California-based Proterra had to stump up a “nine-figure sum” to secure the long-term supply of lithium-ion cylindrical cells manufactured at Korean-owned LG Energy Solution’s US plant.

Both Proterra and LGES now plan to obtain approval from their board of directors for the agreement by Q4.

Proterra did not confirm the location of the plant that would make the cells when questioned by BEST

LGES plans to invest more than $4.5 billion in US manufacturing capacity, including plants in Michigan and Ohio (in conjunction with with General Motors, which is under construction).

LGES is also working on a pilot plant for Tesla’s 4680 prototype lithium-ion cells.

High nickel NCMA cells 

Wonjoon Suh, the senior vice president and the division leader of Mobility and IT Battery Division at LGES, said: “The collaboration between LG Energy Solution and Proterra will act as a critical milestone in seizing America’s eco-friendly commercial vehicle industry, already taking a lead in the global market. 

“LGES will continue to expand our EV battery manufacturing capability in the U.S. and bolster local supply chain to foster clean energy industry in the US.”

Since 2016, Proterra and LG Chem engineering teams have been collaborating to increase cell performance to meet the requirements of commercial vehicle markets. 

The cylindrical cells to be manufactured at the new LGES plants will feature a high nickel NCMA chemistry engineered for commercial vehicle and industrial applications. 

Earlier this month, LGES secured 100% rights to battery-grade nickel and cobalt materials from Australian Mines.

The six-year deal is for mixed hydroxide precipitate (MPH) from the $1.5 billion Sconi Project in North Queensland, in which it will have access to 71,000 tonnes of nickel and 7,000 tonnes of cobalt from the end of 2024.

LGES signed a lithium-ion battery materials off-take deal with Australian firm Vulcan Energy in August for up to 45 metric tonnes of lithium hydroxide over the five-year term of the deal.

LG Energy Solution woes

In June, LGES was forced to extend its safety recall over concerns its lithium-ion powered Resu-branded residential energy storage units installed could overheat and catch on fire.

The affected units were equipped with lithium-ion cells manufactured between March 2017 and September 2018. 

The systems were installed as part of a residential energy solar system, which allowed owners to capture and store energy from solar panels. 

 

Launched in December, LGES said it had received ‘isolated reports’ about overheating incidents linked to home energy storage system battery installations. 

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Battery Resourcers welcomes Toyota Research Institute’s CFO to its board

Tue, 08/24/2021 - 11:50 -- paul Crompton
Kelly Kay

Vertically integrated lithium-ion battery recycler and manufacturer Battery Resourcers has named Kelly Kay as its newest board member.

Kay serves as executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief diversity & inclusion officer at the Toyota Research Institute (TRI). 

Her appointment comes three months after the firm completed a $20 million Series B equity round, and announced the development of a commercial-scale processing facility with the capacity to produce “10,000 tons” of batteries annually.

Mike O'Kronley, CEO and director of Battery Resourcers, said: "Kelly's experience at high growth companies and her deep knowledge of business operations and strategy will help bring us to the next level in our development.”

Kay joined TRI in 2017 and has previously served as the organisation's chief operating officer. 

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China's Lomon Billions to enter lithium-ion battery market with new material plants

Mon, 08/23/2021 - 12:09 -- paul Crompton

China materials firm Lomon Billions plans to enter the battery industry by building three lithium-ion cathode and anode material production facilities. 

The proposed plants in China will cover lithium iron phosphate and titanium dioxide production. 

A 200,000 tonnes-per-year (t/yr) facility for battery-grade iron phosphate will be built in Qinyang city, in the Henan province, over three phases: two 50,000 t/yr stages and a 100,000 t/yr stage.

Another 200,000 t/yr facility is proposed for Henan's Jiaozuo city to ensure feedstock supplies for the lithium iron phosphate project. 

Lomon Billions is planning to construct a 100,000 t/yr plant for artificial lithium-ion battery anode material in Jiaozuo developed in two phases, with 25,000 t/yr and 75,000 t/yr capacity respectively. 

It will also invest 700mn yuan ($108 million) to expand titanium dioxide production in Jiaozuo by 100,000 t/yr. Its total titanium dioxide capacity is 1 million t/yr. 

Details including the construction schedules and launch dates were undisclosed. 

China upping materials production

Chinese companies, including cobalt refinery Jinchuan Group and diversified new energy firm Ningbo Shanshan, have expanded their battery cathode and anode materials production capacity for power.

Jinchuan is on track to raise its production capacity for nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) precursors by 100,000 t/yr in China's Gansu province. 

Shanshan is projected to build a 200,000 t/yr production facility for anode material in China's Sichuan province. 

Domestic power battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) has unveiled plans to increase its lithium-ion battery capacity by 137GWh/yr through five production projects in the next three years.

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Green Cubes appoints power industry veteran as chief operating officer

Fri, 08/20/2021 - 11:30 -- paul Crompton

Lithium-ion power systems firm Green Cubes Technology has appointed Ken Johnson as the company’s chief operating officer. 

Johnson will be charged with building continued growth within telecom, materials handling, and industrial automation markets; and managing the company’s production facilities in Malaysia, Slovakia, and the US.

Keith Washington, president and CEO of Green Cubes, said: “Ken has led both domestic and international operations and supply chains through new product introduction, lean transformations, inventory reductions and overall working capital improvement.

“I am confident his experience and focused vision will help us successfully execute our continued growth within strategic markets and geographic locations.”

In March, Green Cubes signalled its global ambitions with plans to expand its US facilities, branch into Europe and launch new products— including adding 36,000 square foot to its engineering and production facilities in Indiana, US, to house engineering staff and produce lithium-ion batteries for the material handling applications.

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Lead battery recycler Ecobat buys into European lithium-ion battery recycling market

Mon, 08/16/2021 - 11:05 -- paul Crompton

Lead-battery recycler Ecobat has bought lithium-ion battery recycler Promesa as it looks to expand its hold in the European market.

Ecobat’s buy-out of the Hettstedt, Germany, firm will allow it a further entry point to the European EV battery recycling market, which is expected to be worth $4.7 billion in 10 years, according to Ecobat.

The deal gives 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. 

Jimmy Herring, Ecobat’s president and chief executive officer, said: "Building on this acquisition, Ecobat will continue to expand our position in the lithium-ion battery recycling space with future investment plans underway to increase capacity at our Promesa facility and to build out additional dismantling capabilities across Germany.”

Promesa will provide Ecobat with access to business-critical permits for 3,200 tons of chemical compounds. 

These contracts cover a broad range of waste materials associated with a variety of battery chemistries from household to electric vehicle, positioning Ecobat for expansive growth opportunities.

Earlier this month, Ecobat was named as a cohort member of US battery companies that will collaborate with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and The University of Toledo to improve lead-battery cycling efficiency

The new two-year research collaboration is focused on improving the performance of advanced lead batteries, which includes work to identify methods to extend their cycle life. 

New CFO

The acquisition comes as Ecobat named Jamie Pierson (pictured) as its new chief financial officer. 

Pierson will lead the Finance Homeroom on a global basis and provides strategic advice to the executive leadership team and board of directors. 

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Pilot plant opens to produce lithium-ion battery anode materials from trees

Fri, 08/13/2021 - 16:53 -- paul Crompton
Lignose powder

Renewable materials company Stora Enso has started producing wood-based carbon for lithium-ion batteries at its pilot facility in Finland.

The pilot facility is ramping up production to supply anode materials that replace the synthetic and non-renewable graphite following a €10 million ($11.8 million) investment in 2019.

The wood-based carbon material will have a number of applications, including electric vehicles and consumer electronics as well as large-scale energy storage systems.

The plant will produce Lignode, which is made from lignin, a existing by-product in the production of cellulose fibre and naturally occurring in trees.

Markus Mannström, executive vice president of Stora Enso’s Biomaterials division, said: “With our pilot plant now ramping up operations, we are entering a new value chain in supplying more sustainable anode materials for batteries. 

“With Lignode, we can provide a bio-based, cost-competitive and high-performance material to replace the conventionally used graphite. To serve the fast-growing anode materials market, we are now exploring strategic partnerships to accelerate scale-up and commercialisation in Europe.”

The pilot plant for bio-based carbon materials is located at Stora Enso’s Sunila production site in Finland, where lignin has been industrially produced since 2015. 

The bio-refinery’s annual lignin production capacity is 50,000 tonnes, making Stora Enso the largest kraft lignin producer in the world. 

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