Saft, a subsidiary of Total which specializes in advanced battery technology for the industrial sector, will partner with China's Tianneng Energy Technology (TET) to create a joint venture (JV) to expand their lithium-ion business, Total announced Thursday.
The JV will primarily focus on the development, manufacture and sales of advanced lithium-ion cells, modules and packs for China and worldwide markets, according to Total's statement. E-bikes and electric vehicles, as well as energy storage solutions will be the target markets.
According to the press release, manufacturing will be based at the Changxing Gigafactory, with a potential capacity of 5.5 gigawatt hours (GWh), from which several GWh are already in operation. Saft will have a 40 percent stake in the new JV, while the Tianneng Group, of which TET is a subsidiary, will hold the remaining shares.
The partners also plan to expand the Changxing facility to ramp up its production capacity to meet future growing demand, mainly driven by e-mobility sales and the development of renewables, the statement added.
"This is a first strategic move driven by Total, following the acquisition of Saft in 2016, to grow Saft's activity in China, the world's largest renewables market, as well as in the energy storage solutions segment as an essential component to the large-scale development of intermittent renewable energies," said Total Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne.
"The JV will allow Saft to join forces with a Chinese partner, a world-leading lead acid battery manufacturer, willing to develop its lithium-ion activities. It will also give Saft access to China's booming battery market as well as highly-competitive mass production capacity to accelerate its growth," he added.
According to the press release, the Chinese lithium-ion market will represent over 40 percent of global demand by 2025.
By Hale Turkes