Into the growth market: battery manufacturer Saft establishes a China joint venture

Into the growth market: battery manufacturer Saft establishes a China joint venture-saft

French battery and accumulator manufacturer Saft, a subsidiary of petroleum company Total, has signed an agreement with Tianneng Energy Technology, a subsidiary of China’s Tianneng Group, to establish a joint venture to expand its lithium-ion battery activities. Manufacturing will take place at the Gigafactory in Changxing, with a potential capacity of 5.5 gigawatt hours, of which several GWh are already in operation. Saft will have a 40 percent stake in the new joint venture, with Tianneng Group holding the remaining shares.

The joint venture primarily focuses on the development, manufacture and sale of advanced lithium-ion cells, modules and packages for China and the worldwide market. Target markets are e-bikes and electric vehicles as well as energy storage solutions. The partners also plan to expand the Changxing facility to increase its production capacity. In this way they want to meet the future growing demand, which is mainly due to the steadily increasing sale of e-bikes and electric cars and the increasing generation of renewable energies.

Saft, a 100-year-old company specializing in industrial batteries, is also leading a European consortium that includes Siemens, Solvay, Manz, Umicore and Eramet that aims to build a European battery giant.

“The joint venture will allow Saft to work with a Chinese partner, a world-leading lead-acid battery manufacturer looking to expand its lithium-ion activities. This will also give Saft access to China’s booming battery market and competitive mass production capabilities to accelerate its growth.Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of Total

“This partnership allows us to benefit from Saft’s 30-year experience and strong technical leadership in lithium-ion cells,” added Tianren Zhang, Chairman of Tianneng. “Saft’s excellent reputation for high quality products will be critical in giving the joint venture the credibility essential to growing our business.”

Ghislain Lescuyer, CEO of Saft, is confident that the new joint venture will allow his company to significantly increase its presence in the Chinese market. He assumes that by 2025, more than 40 percent of global demand for lithium-ion batteries will come from China.

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