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Rosatom acquires stake in Korean power storage company

RENERA, ROSATOM’s integrator company for the energy storage business (a subsidiary of TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom) has finalised the deal to acquire 49 per cent share of Enertech International, a South Korean manufacturer of electrodes, lithium-ion storage cells and energy storage systems. 

The signed agreement also includes building a facility for manufacturing lithium-ion cells and energy storage systems in Russia, with at least  2 gigawatts-hour (GWh) production capacity by 2030.

The start of the first stage of production is scheduled for 2025. Lithium-ion batteries made in Russia will be applied in electric vehicles (buses and cars), special equipment and in power grids. 

The alliance with the Korean partner is a part of ROSATOM’s strategic development of non-nuclear businesses. Energy storage is an end-to-end technology in ROSATOM’s portfolio of new businesses, which makes it possible to create high-tech products which are in demand in the new technological paradigm. 

“The alliance with the technological partner is a strategically important milestone for the development of Rosatom’s energy storage business,” said Natalia Nikipelova, President of TVEL Fuel Company. “This will increase production capacity, significantly enhance our expertise and applications based on lithium-ion batteries and also facilitate access to foreign markets. In addition, local manufacturing content in Russia means not just new technologies and products, but also new jobs.”

Lithium-ion batteries are considered to be one of the most advanced and popular energy storage technologies. Due to the combination of affordable prices and high performance, such batteries have become the key component for the development of environmentally friendly passenger transport – electric vehicles.

The establishment of a world-class battery production enterprise in Russia would also become a landmark event for the national automotive industry. Reducing dependence on imports, associated commercial risks and, as the result, lower cost of the final products could become an incentive for production growth and widespread introduction of Russian-made electric transport. 

The demand for energy storage systems is also growing in the power industry – lithium-ion storage systems facilitate the transformation of the energy sector. These technologies are efficient for uninterrupted power supply and rational use of electricity since they allow subjects of power system accumulating energy during surplus periods and give it away during a shortfall. They also help solve the problem of stability of the energy system and regulate power fluctuations which are typical for the power systems with developing renewable energy sector. 

In comparison with lead-acid batteries, lithium-ion storage systems allow several times faster accumulation and release of energy, the number of their operating cycles is three times longer, they are compact and do not require maintenance. According to Bloomberg forecasts, the annual demand for lithium-ion batteries in the next 10 years will grow 10 times and by 2031 will amount to more than 2 thousand GWh.

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