Rosatom to build plant for making lithium-ion cells, energy storage systems

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Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom’s integrator company for the energy storage business, Renera, which is a subsidiary of Rosatom’s fuel arm TVEL, announced earlier this month that it will build its 3-gigawatt (GWh) lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in the country’s Kaliningrad region. 

The factory is expected to start manufacturing in 2026 and to produce lithium-ion batteries based on a technology developed by South Korean manufacturer of electrodes, lithium-ion storage cells and energy storage systems, Enertech International, in which Rosatom acquired a 49 percent stake earlier this year. 

“The plant for the production of lithium-ion cells and energy storage systems, the so called ‘Russian gigafactory’, will be launched at the Baltic NPP (nuclear power plant) site in 2026. Construction of the manufacturing facility will contribute to development of this industrial site. The full production capacity of the plant will be at least 3 GWh annually (the total energy volume of the produced batteries)”, a TVEL release said.  

“The signals we receive from the Russian market indicate that the production volumes we planned a year ago may be insufficient. To fulfill the current plans for electric transport development, we are considering a possible growth of the plant’s production capacity up to 12 GWh,” said Renera Director General Emin Askerov. 

According to the TVEL Fuel Company president Natalia Nikipelova, “the plant’s production is supposed to be consumed mainly by domestic car manufacturers, therefore the enterprise will make a significant contribution to implementation of the state policy of import substitution.” 

Rosatom set up Renera in October last year as part of the diversification of its clean energy business, and in line with this strategy, the state-run company, which is Russia’s biggest electricity provider, purchased 49 percent stake in Enertech International in April 2021.   

“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 in compliance with the energy transition concept”, the statement said. 

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 2,000 GWh.

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