Blackstone receives permit and subsidy for 3D battery production

by John Shepherd
From left: Blackstone Resources CEO Ulrich Ernst, Blackstone Technology CEO Holger Gritzka, Döbeln Lord Mayor Sven Liebhauser, Blackstone Resources CFO Christoph von Aesch.
Authorities in Germany have given the official go-ahead for Blackstone Technology to start producing 3D printed lithium-ion battery cells at its plant in the state of Saxony.

The announcement came as the company – a subsidiary of Swiss battery metals investor Blackstone Resources – secured subsidy funding of 20% for its investments from Saxony’s central development agency – the Sächsische Aufbaubank.

The operating permit for the plant in Döbeln was formally handed over yesterday and production will start in September 2021.

Industrial trucks

Blackstone told World Battery News earlier this month that its goal of achieving 500 MWh of annual production capacity at Döbeln by 2022 could be met.

The company also revealed it had signed a letter of intent (LOI) with a major German manufacturer of battery systems for industrial trucks, Triathlon Batterie, to supply 3D-printed battery cells with several 100 MWh annually.

Additional LIOs with customers spanning marine applications, e-motorcycles, e-commercial vehicles and e-buses, are worth a combined sum of around €184m (about £158m), the company said.

Pouch cells

Blackstone has said initial production at Döbeln will involve its ‘thick layer technology’ pouch cells, which allows a 20% higher density in lithium-ion cells.

The printing technology allows batteries to be produced in various forms for applications including electric vehicles, electric buses and motorcycles, telecoms networks, tools and drone technology.

Earlier this year, Blackstone Technology CEO, Holger Gritzka, unveiled the first large battery cells produced by the company. He said the goal was to achieve an energy density of more than 220 watt-hours per kilogram in pre-production and in series production.

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