New Banner Group site paves way for lead battery production expansion

by John Shepherd
The Leonding production site and (inset) Thomas Hauzeneder. Photos: Banner
Austria-based Banner has paved the way for an expansion of lead battery production as work gets under way on a new manufacturing facility in the country.

Banner’s head of marketing, Thomas Hauzeneder, said in an exclusive interview with World Battery News that the company is switching its industrial battery division from its base in Leonding, south-west of Linz, to a newly-acquired site in Thalheim, about 20 km away.

Hauzeneder said the company plans to update the market on details of the move later this year – but he confirmed the switch could lead to an increase in starter battery production of up to 30% in Leonding.

'Key markets'

"We’ve only just opened the facility in Thalheim and there is still work to do, so we are not giving details such as the impact on overall production capacity at this stage,” Hauzeneder said.

"However, by moving the industrial batteries division, it gives us the space we were looking for to expand starter battery production at Leonding. I would say a production increase of 20-30% is possible at Leonding, which is now our main production site for starter batteries.”

Hauzeneder said the move is part of Banner’s strategy to expand its key markets of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France – where he said the company has the capacity "to grow sales much more”.

"France is already a good market for us. We already have several sales outlets there, but we have the potential to grow sales.”

'Energy security'

Hauzeneder said the Bawart family-owned business remained committed to the development of lead battery technology – and noted that even the expansion of lithium-ion to power the electric vehicles batteries market still required lead-acid.

"Lead batteries still go together with lithium in e-mobility applications, and for energy security and back-up power, lead will remain necessary,” he added.

Meanwhile, Banner has posted a slight uptick in revenue over the past year, despite the "daunting” impact of the pandemic. 

Banner said a 2% increase put sales revenues for the 2020-21 financial year at €270m (£231m), with 4.1 million starter batteries sold.

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