BHEL and Libcoin to build India’s first lithium-ion battery gigafactory

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Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), India’s largest power generation equipment manufacturer, will send a team of senior officers to study facilities, R&D infrastructure and other techno-commercial issues soon. Subject to the recommendations of the team, joint venture plans will then progress.

The joint venture will focus on manufacturing core components domestically, creating an integrated manufacturing ecosystem and resulting in self-reliance and cheaper electric vehicle batteries. The project will take an holistic view of the supply chain in combination with digital technologies to replace high-CAPEX and high-OPEX processes.

Magnis Energy – which has a 20% stake in Libcoin – it and other Libcoin partners have been working on the creation of India’s first lithium ion battery Gigafactory for the past 12 months. The consortium agrees India is going to be a significant market for lithium-ion battery manufacturing, especially as it aligns with the government’s “Make In India, for India” program.

Discussions are taking place, said Magnis, with the details ‘commercial in confidence’. Talks are also progressing with other potential owners and offtake partners, mainly from the automotive sector.

Libcoin chairman Rajan Duggal said: “Our plan is to be the largest lithium-ion battery manufacturer in India, and we aim to be the first mover in one of the world’s largest markets.”

Libcoin works on supply chain

Magnis chairman Frank Poullas added: “We see India as a key market and to potentially build one of the world’s largest gigafactories with a partner who possesses the skill and expertise of BHEL is very exciting for Magnis.”

Significantly, as part of its diversification initiative, BHEL has prepared to venture into manufacturing electric vehicle chargers, electric buses and related critical components. It has undertaken in-house development of EV motors, propulsion systems and fast chargers.

BHEL recently announced it would set up a network of solar-based electric vehicle chargers along the entire 250 km stretch of road between Delhi and Chandigarh, allaying range anxiety among EV users.

Australia-based Libcoin’s major shareholders include Australian Stock Exchange listed Magnis Energy Technologies and New York-based technology group Charge CCCV. Libcoin is completing the assembly of a global end-to-end supply chain including raw materials and associated technologies and components for the manufacture of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells.

Magnis is a vertically integrated group focused on lithium-ion batteries. The company says it has developed – and has patent protection on – industry-first graphite processing techniques that require no downstream chemical or thermal purification treatments.