India aspires for energy independence after proposing first lithium-ion battery plant

Date: Jan 21, 2019

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Libcoin are in discussion to form a consortium to build India’s first lithium-ion battery (LIB) gigafactory, the government has announced.

The proposed plant will initially have a capacity of 1 gigawatt-hours but would be scaled up to 40gWh in due course.

With dialogue advancing, state-run energy powerhouse BHEL will soon send a team of senior officers to study the facilities, R&D infrastructure and other techno-commercial issues.

Based upon the evaluation and recommendations of the team, further work will be undertaken to form a joint venture.

In an announcement last Friday, India’s Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises ministry said the early-stage discussions on the plant represented the country’s first steps into energy security.

“This project will bring energy independence by replacing oil imports with abundant renewables,” the ministry said.

The lithium-ion battery plant will be a first for India and will involve leveraging “cutting edge digital technologies” in a bid to replace high capital and operating costs.

While the exact location of the plant wasn’t revealed, the ministry said the project would focus on core-cost components manufactured domestically.

The project is in line with the government’s “Make in India, for India” program which is aimed at strengthening the country’s manufacturing sector.

Magnis set to play key role in gigafactory

Sydney-based Magnis Energy Technologies (ASX: MNS) currently holds a 20%, non-dilutive stake in Libcoin, with aspirations to become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of lithium-ion battery cells.

With India set to emerge as a significant market for lithium-ion manufacturing, Magnis said it had been working with Libcoin over the last 12 months on the creation of the proposed gigafactory.

Commenting on the news, Magnis chairman Frank Poullas said it was encouraged by the Indian government’s commitment to the development.

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