MHI to Enter Lithium-ion Secondary Battery Business with Launch of Commercial Production Verification Plant by Fall 2010.
To date MHI has supplied the batteries for sample use, but now it has opted to place them on the market. The company looks to promote lithium-ion secondary battery business through a companywide initiative and will begin by incorporating the batteries into its various products, such as forklift trucks and wind turbine power generation systems. In conjunction with this initiative, MHI will launch a new Joint Lithium Battery Operations Department effective October 1st.
MHI and Kyushu Electric Power launched joint research and development into large-size batteries for electric power storage in 1988, and successfully developed compact batteries capable of supplying substantial power over long periods. Those batteries are a medium-size cell with energy capacity of 165 Wh (watt-hours), mainly used in vehicles, and a large-size stationary-use battery cell with 350 Wh.
The commercial production verification plant, slated for construction startup this fall, will utilize technologies from MHI's diversified business areas, including technologies related to slurry preparation, coating, and mass-production management knowhow from turbocharger production. The plant will serve to verify and improve factors essential for commercial production, such as verification of operation rates, tact time, battery performance and cost target. MHI's lithium-ion secondary battery business plan calls for the construction of another full-scale commercial plant once all-out entry into the business is decided. The company will make its decision in 2011 taking the market situation, future prospects, and verification results into account.
The new Joint Lithium Battery Operations Department will encompass staff members from the Power Systems Headquarters and the General Machinery & Special Vehicle Headquarters and will be charged with integrally advancing product planning and commercialization. Technical Headquarters, the Production System Innovation Planning Department and the Sustainability Energy & Environment Strategic Planning Department will also provide support.
Besides producing the new batteries, MHI aims, by leveraging its abundant system development know-how, to enhance their value by incorporating them into the company's final products and systems. Specifically, for vehicle applications MHI will mount the batteries on its newly developing hybrid forklift trucks. The company also plans to provide its lithium-ion secondary batteries to affiliated companies and to supply them to other companies for installation in their products as a power train. For stationary use, MHI will incorporate the batteries as electric power storage units enabling stabilization of electricity supply from renewable energy grid systems, such as wind power and photovoltaic power generation. It also will consider, together with Kyushu Electric Power, applications in the emergency power source systems of the electricity providers, as well as an environmental-friendly independent power source at work site and a power source for micro electricity grids on remote islands.
Demand for lithium-ion secondary batteries, which boast superior power storage capability, is expected to increase sharply from 2010 in tandem with further strengthening of environmental regulations. Domestic battery manufacturers will increase their production, expecting demands largely coming from applications in hybrid cars and electric vehicles initially. MHI, as a comprehensive manufacturer of energy-related machinery, looks to further contribute to the establishment of an energy-saving society by focusing on electric power storage, particularly for industrial applications, in addition to further enhancing its existing systems in areas such as high-efficiency power generation and renewable energy utilization.
About Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (TSE: 7011, 'MHI'), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world's leading heavy machinery manufacturers, with consolidated sales of 3,203 billion yen in fiscal 2007 (year ended March 31, 2008). MHI's diverse lineup of products and services encompasses shipbuilding, power plants, chemical plants, environmental equipment, steel structures, industrial and general machinery, aircraft, space rocketry and air-conditioning systems. For more information, please visit the MHI website at www.mhi.co.jp.
Source: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Hideo Ikuno firstname.lastname@example.org +81-3-6716-5277
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|Date:||Aug 26, 2009|
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