A123 joins the club of upcoming Lithium Batteries Megafactories. It is not the largest player, but more and more Chinese companies are using the favourable government policy to capitalise on the fast growing market. Add to this the largest auto-market in the world, "War on Pollution" and fastest growing Solar Power installations and you will get the full picture of lithium induced technology race. Companies from China have got quite a few battery companies and their technology after the struggle in slow growing market place despite of the initial hype. Another noticeable example will be Boston Power where International Lithium's strategic partner Ganfeng Lithium has its stake. You can find more information on lithium industry on the links below.
We have great news today from our both J/V projects with Ganfeng Lithium! You already know about my personal vision for the lithium industry and our strategic partnership between International Lithium and Ganfeng Lithium from China. Now we have results coming in from our exploration and development programs.
We have the rebirth of the interest to the lithium industry on the investor's radar screens these days. Behind the scenes after the initial hype the best players were growing very fast. Just look at the incredible rise of our strategic partner Ganfeng Lithium! We are very lucky, after years of hard work to secure the financing of our two J/V projects by Ganfeng in Ireland and Argentina. Elon Musk has brought attention back to the lithium technology these days and finally our shares are finding some bids. I am writing and talking a lot about Tesla, EVs, Lithium and our companies. This is where my passion and my money are, do not hesitate to contact us with all your questions. We will never discuss any material information which is not public, but we will help you to navigate in our very young, but growing very fast industry. I will never ask you to buy our shares or give any investment advise, but just share with you my very personal vision on the future. For me it is clear - it will be lithium technology for years to come: the chart above make my point more apparent. Please follow Simon Moores and his new Benchmark Mineral Intelligence for industry insights. You will find other names on the links I am providing.
What makes International Lithium different from other junior miners - access to the capital. Our very deep technical team headed by Gary Schellenberg has identified our projects at the very beginning of the lithium interest in 2008. It took us few long years to bring Ganfeng Lithium to the table. Now this giant from China is financing our J/V projects after studying for years other lithium projects all over the world. Based on the previous results we are drilling now both J/V projects with more information to come in the coming weeks. China controls now 75% of battery grade lithium hydroxide and Ganfeng Lithium is one of the major players in this market. International Lithium is building the supply chain for this vertically integrated lithium business in China. Stay turned and I welcome all our new shareholders to the very exciting new industrial rEVolution we are building our business to be the part of.
A123 Systems LLC plans to double the manufacturing capacity at its three lithium-ion battery plants in a $200 million investment.
The company said today it will increase capacity to 1.5 gigawatt hours at the plants in Michigan, Hangzhou, China, and Changzhou, China, over the next three years. Previous capacity was 750 megawatts.
Battery cell production also will increase from 3.3 million cells out of its two plants in suburban Detroit to 4.3 million cells, said A123 CEO Jason Forcier.
Parent company, China-based Wanxiang Group Corp., is funding the expansion.
“We’re at capacity at all of our production facilities,” Forcier said. “The growth of our low-voltage business caused us to find ways to create more efficiencies as well as expand our operations.”
After emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2013, A123 refocused its business on low-voltage lithium-ion batteries used by automakers for weight savings and to power other MPG-lowering technologies. This is a diversion from its original plan of manufacturing large lithium-ion battery packs to power electric vehicles, though it still does that work for the Chinese market.
In the low-voltage market, A123 supplies automakers such as Daimler AG with 12-volt starter batteries and 48-volt microhybrid batteries, which are used in various technologies.
Forcier said the funds will be used to purchase more efficient battery cell assembly equipment, while new lines will be created in China.
A123 employs 610 in Michigan, but it plans to hire an undisclosed amount tied to the investment, Forcier said. It employs 1,815 globally.
The battery maker is expected to generate $300 million in revenue in 2015, with plans of reaching $600 million in 2018, Forcier said. The company is also expected to be profitable for the first time in its history in 2015.
A profit is a far cry from A123’s earlier performance, which led to its bankruptcy filing.
In April 2012, a Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid fitted with an A123 battery failed during an April 2012 test by Consumer Reports. Replacing the defective batteries was expected to cost A123 $66.8 million, including a $15 million inventory charge. The announcement devastated A123’s stock price, which fell more than 85 percent during the year.
A123 filed for bankruptcy owing millions of dollars to hundreds of debtors, including the Detroit suburbans of Livonia, Novi and Romulus. At the time, A123 held $376 million in debt with about $459.8 million in assets.
"It’s been a tremendous turnaround," Forcier said. "We’re keeping in line with where the market is going, and we’re already working on another (expansion) plan after this one is complete."
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