battery developer Altech Chemicals [ASX:ATC] on Wednesday jumped on plans to commercialize the 100 MWh sodium alumina solid-state (SAS) battery project for grid storage.
Altech has entered into a joint venture agreement with the German battery institute Fraunhofer IKTS (IKTS) to commercialize IKTS’ CERENERGY battery.
Altech believes CERENERGY batteries are the ‘Revolutionary grid storage alternative to lithium-ion batteries‘.
ATC shares rose more than 25% on Wednesday, thwarting a strong sell-off in the broader market.
Year-to-date, ATC shares are down 15%.
Altech’s JV with a German company to market “revolutionary” batteries
ATC has announced a joint venture (JV) with Germany’s “world-leading” battery company, Fraunhofer (IKTS) to commercialize the institute’s sodium alumina solid-state battery (CERENERGY batteries).
Altech will be the majority owner of the JV, at 75%.
The proposed facility for the 100 MWh project is to be built on Altech’s existing land in Schwarze Pumpe, Germany.
ATC estimates that the plant will produce 10,000 SAS battery modules per year, rated at 10 KWh each.
Altech said it expects the modules to yield between €7,000 and €9,000 per module, or €700 to €900 per KWh, at the final cost of the pack.
Altech’s new JV partner – IKTS – is said to have spent around €35 million on R&D and currently operates a pilot plant in Hermsdorf worth €25 million.
After being in the game for the past eight years, IKTS has estimated that the total production cost of CERENERGY® batteries will be 40-50% cheaper than lithium batteries.
And these “revolutionary” batteries?
Under the name CERENERGY®, these batteries are said to be resistant to fire and explosions, can operate in extreme weather conditions and have twice the endurance of ordinary lithium-ion batteries (more than 15 years of autonomy).
The batteries are said to be made of common table salt and nickel, which are cheaper and easier to obtain than critical lithium-ion battery materials, such as lithium, graphite, copper or cobalt, limiting ‘exposure to critical metal price spikes and supply chain issues‘.
Similar batteries have already been tested by IKTS, and the latest version is now in the final stages of product testing.
This means that the final CERENERGY® battery modules, at 10 KWh each, are almost ready to launch into the commercial world.
The partners have already started planning a bankable feasibility study on their JV marketing. Once this is complete, other construction plans can also be launched.
ATC says lithium alternatives are the way to go
Altech speculates that the grid energy storage market is expected to grow 28% CAGR over the next few decades and grow from US$4.4 billion in 2022 to US$15.1 billion by 2027.
Alternative battery developer claims SAS battery can ‘offer high security at low acquisition and operating costs‘.
It’s clear that Altech is banking on a strong future in alternative lithium batteries, citing some of the challenges with lithium batteries (the fire hazard aspect, temperature sensitivity costs, and issues availability and supply chain – even geopolitical risks) that the alternative can avoid.
As electric vehicle markets scramble to find the most innovative and cost-effective ways to power our net-zero future, we’ll have to see what the next breakthroughs are.
The race is on
The electric vehicle (EV) market is booming, driven by government initiatives and funding programs supporting production around the world.
But our energy expert, Selva Freigedo, says the global shift to electric vehicles means the industry is facing a supply shortage, sending battery materials into a new kind of frenzy.
If you want to learn more and make sure you’re prepared for the inevitable, check Selva’s report here.
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