Sunlight Group grows lead-acid production capacity to reach 9GWh
Athens, Greece, 08 September 2022
€100m investments to increase production capacity of lead industrial mobility batteries
Best in class operational efficiency, business continuity and optimal customer service
Plan supported by respective investments in lead-acid recycling and strategic acquisitions for vertical integration in key materials and components
Sunlight Group Energy Storage Systems, technology company specializing in innovative industrial mobility and energy storage systems, announces the expansion of its lead-acid production capacity to 9GWh per year. Investments amount to €100m and ramp-up the company’s lead-acid output that will exceed the initial target of 5.3GWh and establish Sunlight as the largest producer of lead-acid motive power batteries in the world.
The €100m will be invested in adding infrastructure in Sunlight Group’s industrial manufacturing complex in Xanthi, northeastern Greece. The additions will increase the plant’s covered area dedicated to lead-acid cell production to over 50,000 sq.m., including the establishment of three autonomously operating production units in three separate buildings. This will boost operational efficiency, while ensuring business continuity and Sunlight’s top-quality standards.
Furthermore, the €100m plan includes investments to continue transforming the Xanthi complex into a “smart” factory, implementing Industry 4.0 technologies (automation, robotics, AI, Machine Learning, IoT) across the production process. These installations are already under implementation since March 2022. The first phase will be concluded by November 2022 and offer Sunlight Group a total running capacity of approx. 6GWh on an annualized basis. The second phase of installations is planned between February and November 2023 and upon completion, Sunlight Group will have the capacity to annually produce 9GWh of motive power lead-acid batteries.
Further to the increase of lead-acid cell manufacturing in Xanthi, Greece, the company has already invested in expanding the capacity of its formation and assembly facility in Greensboro NC, USA. It’s currently at 1.2GWh of complete lead-acid batteries per year, with the goal to reach 2GWh. In addition, relevant production extensions are well underway in the Sunlight European Battery Assembly (SEBA) facility in Verona, Italy, to increase the annual output of assembled complete batteries to 4.5GWh by January 2023. This will render SEBA the largest assembly facility of its kind in the world.
Lampros Bisalas, CEO of Sunlight Group, commented on the investments and their importance: ”This is another important milestone in the history of Sunlight. We aspire to become leaders in each sector we operate, and this requires preparation, hard work, and robust capital commitments. High-yielding investments must be smart and well-placed, both production- and technology-wise. We are thankful for the support of our BoD and shareholders to implement this investment. Per latest estimates, by 2030 total market requirements in the motive power sector will be divided between lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, in a market which is forecasted to be double than today. To address existing and future market needs, Sunlight Group combines investments in lead with respective ones in lithium technology. Indeed, the company is involved in very exciting and promising lithium projects; yet, as a technology agnostic company, we understand that our customers –including major global OEMs– need a solid supplier that can provide them with the right mix of products, at the right cost and quality. In a market which will inevitably consolidate, we strive to be in a strong position and drive changes. This will, in turn, increase our global market share and expand our customer base, who acknowledge us as a true innovation and production powerhouse.”
Sunlight Group’s efforts to increase lead-acid capacity are supported by ongoing investments to more than double the annual production capacity of the company’s recycling plant. The facility supplies manufacturing with over 50% of own needs in lead and is expected to more than double production by 2025, from 45,000tn to 100,000tn. In addition, the acquisition of subsidiaries specializing in the manufacturing of components (Technoform) and battery chargers (PBM) further integrates the company’s vertical production.