Blackstone Resources' convertible loan to fund mass-production of 3D-printed batteries

by John Shepherd
Blackstone Resources CEO Holger Gritzka.
Swiss battery metals investor Blackstone Resources has entered a convertible loan facility agreement for up to CHF 20m (£15.5m) to fund plans to mass-produce next-generation 3D-printed solid-state batteries and for other investments.

Blackstone said the agreement is valid for three years and the convertible loan has a zero percent coupon that can be divided with various noteholders.

The batteries "will be used in the auto industry and in many other applications” and Blackstone said it has already started pre-launch activities at the 6,000 sq/m battery-manufacturing plant of its subsidiary Blackstone Technology at Döbeln, in the German state of Saxony, where production will begin in mid-2021.

The facility has an initial expected annual production capacity of 0.5GWh.

Energy density

Blackstone has said its 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.

According to Blackstone, automated 3D-printing battery production has the potential to double the energy density and half manufacturing costs of current lithium-ion battery technology.

CEO Holger Gritzka told the company’s ‘Battery Day’ last month that the goal was to achieve an energy density of more than 220 watt-hours per kilogram in the pre-production and in series production.

Gritzka also unveiled a battery with a cathode based on lithium iron phosphate (LFP). However, Gritzka said other combinations with other metals, such as lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) batteries, are planned.

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