BMW close to 10-year supply deal for battery minerals: FAZ

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Repost from MINING.COM | Copper and base metals markets are having terrible week, but the rally in the price of cobalt shows no signs of fizzling out. The metal quoted on the LME rose to a fresh 9-year peak of $81,500 a tonne yesterday, a 147% surge since the beginning of 2017.

Lithium carbonate prices began its run up two years ago, going from $6,100 per tonne to average $23,350 so far this year on hopes of a boom in demand from electric vehicle manufacturers. Nickel, where EVs hardly registers on the demand side compared to steelmaking, have also been swept up by the positive sentiment and last year prices jumped by 25%.

On Friday luxury vehicle maker BMW said it’s close to signing a 10-year supply contract for lithium and cobalt according to a report in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quoted by Reuters. Markus Duesmann, purchasing executive for the German marque, said “the aim is to secure the supply all the way down to the level of the mine, for 10 years. The contracts are ready to be signed.”

BMW recently said it believes its needs for car-battery raw materials will grow 10-fold by 2025 and that it had been surprised by “just how quickly demand will accelerate”. BMW plans to offer 25 electrified vehicles by 2025 and like many of its peers prefer the use of nickel-magnesium-cobalt batteries (EV pioneer Tesla’s battery technology does not require cobalt).

Traditional carmakers are scrambling to retool their businesses for the electric vehicle market. In January Ford said it’s doubling its investment in the sector to $11 billion over the next five years. French carmaker Peugeot said it’s returning to North America with an entire fleet of electrified vehicles by 2025 while Volkswagen is targeting a 300-model battery-powered lineup by 2030.

Volkswagen will invest more than $40 billion in the next five years as part of a push into battery-powered vehicles and autonomous-driving systems. Daimler AG is spending 10 billion euros on 10 battery models by 2022. BMW said separately on Friday that it put a procurement partnership with Daimler on ice as a result of an investigation into potential antitrust behaviour by German carmakers Reuters reports.

The boom in electric cars could more than quadruple demand for cobalt to in excess of 450,000 tonnes by 2030 from less than 100,000 tonnes last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

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GS Yuasa’s Large-scale Lithium-ion Storage Battery System Installed at Cochrane Coal-fired Power Plant in Chile

GS Yuasa Corporation (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 6674; “GS Yuasa”) announced today that its lithium-ion storage battery system was delivered to the Cochrane coal-fired power plant*1 in Chile and its installation was completed in January 2017.

■The full-view of the lithium-ion storage battery system:
The lithium-ion storage battery system uses lithium-ion battery cells made by Lithium Energy Japan*2 (President: Ryoichi Okuyama; Head office: Ritto city, Shiga; “LEJ”) and has a maximum output of 20MW. It was installed as a spinning reserve*3 to output a certain amount of the plant’s power generation capacity instantaneously and supports the power plant.

This is the first project in which lithium-ion batteries made in Japan were adopted for the world’s largest storage battery system on a commercial basis.

The role of large-scale lithium-ion batteries is expected to grow further in the future to provide standby power at power plants and as a measure to stabilize power system amid increasing use of renewable energy. GS Yuasa will combine its technological capabilities built on years of experience with the mass production technology of LEJ to support the global shift towards clean energy.

*1 A power plant with power generation capacity of net 472,000 kW and gross 532,000 kW built by AES Gener (President: Javier Giorgio; Head office: Santiago, Chile), Chile’s second largest power supplier in terms of power generation capacity, and Mitsubishi Corporation in the suburb of Mejillones, Region II of the northern Chile.

*2 A company which develops, manufactures and sales large-scale lithium-ion batteries, which is jointly operated by GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi Corporation (President: Takehiko Kakiuchi; Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo;).

*3 Spinning Reserve: In some regions of Republic of Chile, power producers are required to set aside a certain amount of generation capacity as spinning reserve.

[Features of lithium-ion storage battery system]
1) Compatible with high-voltage DC (900 V level) PCS (power conditioner).
2) Installed with an integrated battery management unit (BMU) that manages multiple banks (15 in parallel, 3,600 cells).
3) Voltage and storage battery capacity can be easily customized by combining multiple modules in series or parallel and can be built into a large scale storage battery system.
4) Container-based independent control enables maintenance work without stopping the entire system.
5) Remote monitoring system continuously monitors the condition of lithium-ion batteries.

[Background]
GS Yuasa received the order from Parker Hannifin Corporation (President: Thomas L. Williams; Head office: Ohio, the U.S.; “Parker”), which has been given the contract for the entire storage battery system of the power plant, through Mitsubishi Corporation, the main contractor.

LEJ manufactured the lithium-ion battery cells, GS Yuasa constructed the module and storage battery control system and Parker developed the overall lithium-ion storage battery system. They were put into ten 40 ft. containers and finally installed in the plot adjacent to the power plant.

Outline of lithium-ion storage battery system
Module format LIM50EN-12 (12 cell module)
Number of batteries (cells) 36,000(20 module in series × 15 in parallel × 10 containers)
Capacity (kWh) 6,750*4 (675 × 10 containers)
Nominal voltage (V) 900

*4 Product of nominal capacity (Ah) and nominal voltage (V).

■The LIM50EN series industrial-use lithium-ion battery module

Press Release

Next step in Northvolt’s site-selection process

Northvolt proceeds with discussions with eight Swedish and two Finnish municipalities to identify the optimal site for a large scale battery production facility. Physical preconditions, logistics, local business climate and the ability to attract highly skilled labor have been particularly important in the selection process. Northvolt are now proceeding discussions with Gothenburg, Gävle, Luleå, Malmö, Mariestad-Skövde, Norrköping, Skellefteå and Västerås in Sweden, and with Kotka-Hamina and Vaasa in Finland.

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Electrification and renewable energy storage are key to a carbon neutral society. Batteries will enable this transition, and help free the world’s electricity generation and distribution from coal, oil and natural gas. Northvolt’s aim is to accelerate this transition by building Europe’s largest battery factory. The ongoing site-selection process is a central and critical part of the ambitious project.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest from municipalities and regions across Scandinavia. We’ve talked to some forty stakeholders and decided to proceed in discussions with eight Swedish and two Finnish municipalities. We’re moving forward swiftly to make sure we’re taking a leading role in the European market”, says Northvolt’s CEO Peter Carlsson.

The requirements for Northvolt’s large-scale battery factory are exceptional considering land suitable for industrial activity, power supply, proximity to water for cooling, conditions for environmental and other permits. These requirements must be able to be fulfilled within a tight timeframe. Additionally, logistic conditions, including access to port, rail and an international airport, are taken into account. Northvolt is also evaluating the local labor market, industrial tradition, and vicinity to universities.

Northvolt will hire a large number of highly specialized engineers, many from Asia or the United States, which adds yet another evaluation criteria as the factory must be located in a region that is attractive to talented professionals.

A new state-of-the-art industry will be established in the municipality where Northvolt will set up the production facility. Northvolt’s assessment is that the battery production alone will employ approximately 2 500 people. The overall regional impact will lead to far more job opportunities, as the factory will bring an increasing demand for transportation, convenience services and public service, as well as housing and education.

Northvolt will continue with in-depth assessments of the remaining municipalities. The aim is to have a decision in place this summer with regards to which sites the company should proceed with for environmental assessments and permitting processes.

Let me express the company’s gratitude to all municipalities who have expressed interest in our selection process, and to the individuals and representatives of the business community for their enthusiasm. Collaboration is necessary to make this project successful. We’ve met strong support for our ambitious plan from both the public and private sectors. We’re confident that we have a competitive business model in place. We have a unique opportunity to build a new industry that will help accelerate the transition into a fossil free society, and at the same time contribute to societal development, growth and thousands of new jobs.” says Peter Carlsson.


Electrification and renewable energy storage are the keys to a carbon neutral society. Batteries will enable the transition. The auto industry alone will need batteries in huge numbers to replace fossil fuels with electricity. The ability to store energy is also crucial to free the world’s energy generation and distribution from coal, oil and natural gas. Northvolt accelerates this transition by building Europe’s largest battery factory.

Press Release

 

Panasonic Opens New Automotive Lithium-ion Battery Factory in Dalian, China

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With this new factory in China, Panasonic establishes a global battery cell production system for eco-friendly vehicles.

Osaka, Japan – Panasonic Corporation announced today that it held an opening ceremony for a new automotive lithium-ion battery factory in Dalian, China.

The factory is Panasonic’s first automotive battery cell production site in China. Panasonic will further strengthen its global competitiveness in the automotive battery industry by the establishment of production sites in Japan, the United States, and China.

With an increasing awareness of environmental issues, the market for eco-friendly vehicles is expanding every year, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric vehicles. Panasonic has provided automotive lithium-ion batteries to a number of auto manufacturers on a global basis and is leading the automotive battery market. Furthermore, in response to further increase in the demand of high-performance automotive lithium-ion batteries, Panasonic not only increased production at Japanese sites but will also start automotive battery cell production in the United States in 2017. The newly constructed factory in China is a new production facility of Panasonic Automotive Energy Dalian Co., Ltd., an automotive battery joint venture established between Panasonic and Dalian Levear Electric Co., Ltd. in February 2016.

Panasonic is aiming to achieve 2 trillion yen in sales for the overall automotive business, including infotainment systems and industrial devices, in the fiscal year 2019 (ending March 31, 2019) which marks the 100th anniversary of the company’s founding. Panasonic will develop the new factory into a core manufacturing site in China, and further strengthen its automotive battery business.

[Overview of the new factory]

  • Site area: Approx. 170,000 m²
  • Floor area: Approx. 80,000 m²
  • Production items: Prismatic type lithium-ion batteries for eco-friendly vehicles
  • Production launch: Fiscal 2018, ending March 31, 2018

[Overview of the joint venture company (as of April 2017)]

  • Name: Panasonic Automotive Energy Dalian Co., Ltd.
  • Location: 177 Haiming Street, Dalian Free Trade Zone, Liaoning, People’s Republic of China Establishment: February 2016
  • Capital: 273 million RMB
  • Representatives: Chairman: Guochen Liu, Managing Director: Nobukazu Yamanishi
  • Business operations: Design, manufacture, sales, and after-sales services of automotive batteries for eco-friendly vehicles.
  • Employees: Approx. 500 (FY2018 plan)

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, enterprise solutions and device industries. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates 474 subsidiaries and 94 associated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.553 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2016. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company uses its technologies to create a better life and a better world for its customers. To learn more about Panasonic:
http://www.panasonic.com/global

Media Contact:

Public Relations Department

Panasonic Corporation
Tel: +81-(0)3-3574-5664 Fax: +81-(0)3-3574-5699