The selected party will provide funding support of Rs 4 crore by way of design and development of machinery for lithium- and sodium-ion battery cell manufacturing. September 30 is the deadline to submit the interest.
The coal tar derivates company has commissioned a 5000-tonne per annum facility to manufacture synthetic graphite anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. It plans to invest US$ 70 million (Rs 520 crore) over the next five years to increase this capacity to 50,000 tonnes.
The industry body has recommended a series of measures including a continuation of FAME II Scheme to 2025, short-term booster incentives for consumers and support for in-house R&D to boost the electric vehicle sector.
The onset of Covid-19 has brought into focus the critical importance of indigenization and localization of battery cells as a series of disruptions in the supply chain for Li-ion batteries will also affect Indian electric vehicles and stationary energy storage market.
China, Hong Kong and Vietnam are the top three nations exporting batteries to India. Chinese imports were worth $773 million in the last fiscal year with Hong Kong shipping $267 million worth and Vietnam $114 million, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Batteries, and the raw materials that make them, are a frequent target of public criticism. The high water consumption required for lithium extraction is speeding up the desertification process around the salt lakes of Latin America’s so-called “lithium triangle”, for example. The mining debate highlights general problems with the extraction of raw materials, including copper, crude oil, and lithium, but international companies can still influence extraction methods – and there are plenty of different approaches.
While BHEL will primarily produce Li-ion cells for ISRO and other strategic sector programmes, it can also suitably modify the space-grade cells—and thus leading to cost reduction—to meet the requirements of commercial applications.
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