The two have jointly opened a world-class manufacturing unit for lithium-ion battery in Suzhou, China.
This battery plant has the highest production capacity in Asean, with annual output planned at 1gigawatt per hour, and highlights the strength of advanced technology utilisation along with more than 40 guarantee standards, including quality certificate and international patents.
The collaboration marks BANPU's confidence to support proactive plans for expanding customer bases in more than 20 countries, including Europe, China, Japan, India, Thailand and Asean.
The new expansion corresponds to continuous growth in the lithium-ion battery market, as well as supporting rising demands for electric vehicles (EV), buses, trucks, energy-storage systems for households and large renewable power-generation projects.
Somruedee Chaimongkol, chief executive officer of Banpu Public Company Limited (BANPU), said: “BANPU is committed to expanding our business strictly in line with the environment, social and governance principles. We strive to continue the growth of our Energy Technology Business Group under a ‘greener and smarter’ strategy.
“By acquiring a 47 per cent stake in Durapower Holdings Pte Ltd, a leading energy storage operator with a presence in the world for almost 10 years, BANPU is able to respond to business opportunities that are in line with the growing trend of energy technology demand in the future.
“At the same time, this partnership also helps strengthen the business ecosystem of BANPU Group. With the investment in the battery business of such a world-class scale, we have achieved increased manufacturing capacity, creating a leap of growth for the Energy Technology Business Group, as well as driving the consistent and continual use of alternative energy in Thailand and in the international markets.”
She added that factory in Suzhou is aiming at greater efficiency and productivity using high-tech automation systems.
The annual production capacity from 80 megawatt-hours in 2018 has been beefed up to 1gigawatt per hour, which means the plant has the highest capacity to produce lithium-ion battery in Asean.
The factory was opened on October 18 and has commenced full production. Somruedee said with this expansion, BANPU is ready to take steps into the energy storage business and follow its customer expansion plans in Europe, America and Asia.
Kelvin Lim, group CEO for Durapower Holdings Pte Ltd, said: "The opening of our new and automated manufacturing facility is another significant milestone and commitment as Durapower continues to scale up our global presence to deliver high quality and performance products to our customers in different geographic regions and market segments.
“Having an Asia-leading energy company like BANPU as a strategic partner, it helps build confidence and increases the competitiveness of both organisations in order to grow together and to thrive in this highly competitive market sector,” he added.
“This partnership is an extension of production capacity for lithium-ion battery for automotive applications and energy storage systems. Apart from responding to the market trend in the future, this year’s capacity expansion also answers customer needs in the growing EV sector, along with plans to improve our Suzhou plant to support BANPU's business development to tackle the Stationary Energy Storage System market from 2020. This factory will be able to extend the capacity of the production line up to a maximum of 3 gigawatt-hours,” Somruedee concluded.