General Motors and South Korea’s Posco Chemical have named Quebec as the site to build a CAD 500m (£298m) joint venture plant to produce cathode active material (CAM) for electric vehicle batteries. The companies said yesterday Posco will be the majority shareholder in the joint venture – for which plans were first announced last December. The facility will be built in Bécancour, with the support of the Canadian federal government and the provincial government of Quebec, and produce CAM for GM’s Ultium batteries. Construction will start "immediately”, the partners said. "The site’s construction will allow for future expansion opportunities as GM continues to pursue many potential future EV supply chain projects.” Doug Parks, GM’s executive vice president for global product development, purchasing and supply chain, said: "Canada is playing an important role in our all-electric future, and we are grateful for the strong support we have received from local, provincial and national officials to grow a North American-focused EV value chain.” GM plans to have the capacity to build one million EVs in North America by the end of 2025 – and the company aims to have the majority of components sustainably sourced, processed or manufactured in North America. Related articles in our archive First Quantum Minerals and Posco in battery materials joint venture talks GM and LG Energy Solution investing $2.3bn in Tennessee to build second Ultium battery plant
Swiss technology group ABB is delivering robots to be deployed at transport company Scania’s lithium-ion battery assembly plant under construction in Sweden. Scania is investing more than SEK 1bn (£79m) in the plant at Södertälje, in east central Sweden, which is expected to be fully operational by 2023 to supply the company’s expanding range of electric trucks and buses. The 18,000 sq metre plant is being built next to Scania's chassis assembly plant – and will assemble battery modules from cells supplied by Northvolt's battery factory being developed in Skellefteå. ABB said the Södertälje project will be the first time its ‘IRB 390’ robot will be used in a battery production facility, although multiple models of ABB robots will be deployed. Originally designed for the packing industry, the robot "combines speed with power and can mount contact plates in batteries at a rate of one plate every second, 24 hours a day", ABB said. Tony Persson, head of Scania’s battery assembly, said: "The factory is designed in line with Scania's efforts to be at the forefront of industrial digitalisation, automation, and the use of advanced robotic technology to streamline production processes with increased flexibility.” Related articles in our archive Northvolt assembles first lithium-ion cell at its Swedish gigafactory Scania invests in Sweden battery assembly plant using cells from Northvolt
Lithium-ion battery developer Northvolt has announced plans to transform a former Swedish paper mill into a cathode material manufacturing plant. Northvolt has signed a letter of intent to buy the Kvarnsveden Mill and surrounding industrial area in Borlänge, central Sweden, from Stora Enso – a Swedish manufacturer of products from wood and biomass. Financial details were not disclosed. Initial operations at Kvarnsveden, which will have an eventual potential annual production capacity of more than 100 GWh of cathode material, are expected to start in late 2024. Production at Kvarnsveden will support the assembly of battery cells at a number of Northvolt’s plants, including the Northvolt Ett gigafactory in Skellefteå, where the company announced last December it had produced its first lithium-ion cell. The mill, which was founded in 1900, produced pulp and paper for more than 120 years until Stora Enso announced its closure in April 2021, with the loss of more than 400 jobs. 'Optimal site' Northvolt said it planned to keep "key managers” from the Kvarnsveden site working to support a "swift” transfer of operations to the new activities. Co-founder and CEO of Northvolt, Peter Carlsson said: "Since Northvolt’s founding, we have focused on circular battery production, but this is the first time we will reuse an entire production site.” "With its access to energy, industrial water and the broad production knowhow in the region, Kvarnsveden is an optimal site for a gigafactory.” "There is a massive global demand for sustainable, high-quality lithium-ion battery cells and systems,” Carlsson said. "With the blueprint developed at Northvolt Labs and Northvolt Ett, we will now put in another gear to scale up production even faster and larger than before.” The Kvarnsveden project comes just weeks after Northvolt and Volvo Cars announced Gothenburg in Sweden as the site for a joint battery cell manufacturing plant and R&D; centre.   Related articles in our archive Northvolt, Volvo Cars select Gothenburg for battery cells joint venture project Galp and Northvolt joint venture plan Portugal lithium conversion plant to boost EV battery supply chain
French lithium-ion company Forsee Power has renewed its partnership with LG Energy Solution (LES) to support the launch of Forsee’s ‘high energy' battery systems. LES will provide "very high energy density cells” to be integrated into Forsee’s ‘ZEN 42’ battery systems – night charging battery packs for heavy-duty all-electric and hybrid vehicles. The Korean batteries group said it has developed a lithium-ion NMC electrochemical cell based on "new technologies of materials that meet the highest safety standards”.   The pouch cell is dedicated to commercial and industrial applications, which LES said are more intensive and demanding than passenger cars. 'Major milestone' Executive VP of LES’ advanced automotive battery division, Dong-Myung Kim, said: "Amid the growing calls to cut tailpipe emissions around the world, we believe the renewed partnership with Forsee Power will help generate green energy.” "This strategic cooperation will work as a major milestone in tackling the EU’s eco-friendly commercial vehicle sector.” World Battery News reported last year that Forsee had started developing its ‘ZEN’ ultra-thin, high-energy batteries and improved the industrial performance of its 15,000 sqm facility near Poitiers. In February 2021, Forsee said it had secured a European Investment Bank loan of €50m (£43m) to support an expansion of its range of smart and sustainable battery systems. Related articles in our archive LG Energy Solution tightens grip on battery materials in supply deal with Sigma Lithium Forsee Power secures €50m European Investment Bank loan to boost batteries development
UK gigafactory developer Britishvolt said today it had secured the further backing of existing investor, Glencore, to launch a £200m funding round. Britishvolt confirmed in a Tweet that the mining giant would be the cornerstone investor in its series C financing round – committing £40m. The announcement came just days after the two companies unveiled plans to launch a battery recycling joint venture in the UK – as Britishvolt moves ahead with plans for its £2.6bn gigafactory in Blyth, north-east England. Cobalt sourcing The funding round announcement follows the UK government’s offer last month of funding, of around £100m, to support the EV battery project, which has also secured £1.7bn in backing from warehouse provider Tritax and investment group Abrdn. Glencore first made an undisclosed investment in Britishvolt last year. The partners said then that the investment was part of a long-term partnership for the supply of responsibly-sourced cobalt. Earlier this month, the partners announced their recycling joint venture would develop "a world-leading ecosystem for battery recycling in the UK” – based alongside Glencore’s existing Britannia Refined Metals operation in Northfleet, Kent. 'Renewable energy' The recycling plant is set to start up by the middle of next year. It will have a minimum annual processing capacity of 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries and be "100% powered by renewable energy in the long term”, the partners said. Britishvolt was given the green light to build its gigafactory last July. The facility is expected to open in 2024 and produce enough cells each year for more than 300,000 EV battery packs. The company said last month it had already successfully developed its first "production intent” next-generation lithium-ion cells that are "exceeding expectations”. Related articles in our archive Glencore and Britishvolt to launch battery recycling joint venture in UK UK pledges funding for Britishvolt as £1.7bn gigafactory investment boost unveiled
Utility regulators in California have given the green light to expand battery storage and renewables to boost power supplies across the state and curb greenhouse gas emissions. The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) new electricity supply blueprint plans for around 25,500 MW of "new supply-side renewables” and 15,000 MW of additional energy storage facilities by 2032. CPUC approved the plans on 10 February – when the regulators also gave San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E;) the go-ahead to build three new lithium-ion energy storage facilities totaling 161MW / 644MWh. SDG&E; said the three projects would be able to provide enough capacity to meet the energy needs of more than 100,000 homes for periods of up to four hours.   Construction    The new facilities, slated to be completed towards the end of this year or early 2023, will be connected to the state energy market, meaning the California Independent System Operator will be able to dispatch them any time they are needed to balance demand and supply on the grid statewide. SDG&E; completed its 30MW / 120MWh ‘Top Gun Energy Storage’ system in June 2021. By next month, the company plans to start commercial operation of a 20MW / 80MWh lithium-ion battery storage facility in Kearny Mesa, a community in the central part of San Diego. Another 40MW / 160MWh lithium-ion battery storage facility is under construction in Fallbrook, San Diego county. Last December, South Korean flow battery developer, H2 Inc, said it was launching construction of a pilot phase 20 MWh vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) project at a gas peaker plant in northern California. Related articles in our archive BCI welcomes California agency decision on lead batteries California to expand battery storage, wind and solar to meet renewable goals
Shepherd joining Batteries International