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Nexcharge evaluates gigafactory, to consider taking advantage of PLI scheme for batteries

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on June 28, 2021

Set to go full throttle at Gujarat facility

Nexcharge, a joint venture between Leclanche of Switzerland, a leading lithium-ion battery manufacturer and Exide Industries, is exploring the possibility of setting up of a gigafactory to ride on the huge opportunities unfolding new energy business and storage.

The joint venture, which has already set up a manufacturing unit in Gujarat with an outlay of ₹250 crore and a capacity of 1.5 GigaWatt Hour (GWh) capacity, is all set to go full throttle by September 2021.

Stefan Louis, CEO of Nexcharge, said “We are evaluating the prospect of setting up of a gigafactory with a capacity of about 10 GWh and plan to explore the possibility of taking advantage of the Government’s Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cell battery.”

“While the project, both in terms of location and investments is still exploratory, in nature, typically a 10 GWh factory could entail an investment of about ₹4,000-5,000 crore. The scheme is designed such that once the factory is established and production commences, the incentives get disbursed, making it globally competitive,” he told Business Line.

In May 2021, the Union Cabinet approved the proposal for the implementation of PLI Scheme, the ‘National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage’ with an outlay of ₹18,100 crore. It aims to establish domestic manufacturing capacity of 50 Giga Watt Hour (GWh) of ACC and five GWh of Niche ACC capacity. “The scheme is designed such that either we can have three manufacturers or 10 depending on the capacity,” he explained.

“We signed up for the Nexcharge venture in 2018 and within less than three years have started production at the Gujarat facility, which has six production lines. We expect to step up production and go full throttle by September 2021,” he explained.

Nexcharge is on a fast-track mode to cater to the diverse segments of industry and utility markets with Li-ion batteries of different chemistry. The factory is equipped with fully automated assembly lines with robots for li-ion battery packs, modules (Pouch/ Prismatic/ Cylindrical), and cell testing labs at Prantij, Sabarkantha, Gujarat. It is supported by an in-house R&D facility in Bangalore.

Through a collaboration with Tata Power DDL, Nexcharge is lighting up Delhi with the country’s first Grid-Connected Li-ion battery-based Community Energy Storage System (CESS). It is a 0.52 Megawatt hour grid-connected system to provide the path for wider adoption of grid-scale energy storage technology.

Battery-based energy storage provides the agility to better integrate intermittent solar and wind energy into India’s electric grid and ensure high-quality power for consumers. “A Community Energy Storage System like this will ensure consumers get to experience better levels of stability, reliability, quality, and control. Both customers and distributors will benefit from this service,” he said.

Published on June 28, 2021

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