Rosatom looks to lithium batteries for storage

9 March 2021

Renera, Rosatom’s Energy storage systems integrator, part of Fuel Company TVEL, has closed a deal to acquire 49% of shares in South Korea’s Enertech International, a manufacturer of electrodes, lithium-ion storage cells and energy storage systems of various capacities.

The agreement also includes the establishment in Russia of a production facility for lithium-ion cells and energy storage systems, the capacity of which will be at least 2 GW/hour by 2030. The first stage is scheduled to be launched in 2025. The Russian lithium-ion batteries will be used in electric buses, electric vehicles, special equipment and in the power grid complex.

Attracting a technology partner is part of Rosatom's strategy to develop non-nuclear businesses and industries. Energy storage systems are an end-to-end technology, which makes it possible to create high-tech products that are in demand.

“The merger with a technology partner is a strategically important stage for the development of Rosatom's business in the energy storage segment. This will increase production capacity, significantly enhance our competencies and developments in the field of lithium-ion batteries, and also open up access to foreign markets. In addition, the localisation of production in Russia means not only new technologies and products, but also new jobs,” said TVEL President Natalya Nikipelova.

The demand for energy storage systems is also growing in the power industry - lithium-ion storage systems are contributing to the transformation of the energy sector, Renera said. These technologies are effective for organising uninterrupted power supply and rational use of electricity. They solve the problem of stability of the power system and regulate fluctuations in power, which are a characteristic of renewable energy.

Compared with lead-acid storage batteries, lithium-ion storage systems are several times faster in the storage and release of energy, and their operating cycles are longer. They are also compact and do not require maintenance. Having our own R&D centre allows us to develop, along with standard systems, complex solutions for individual customer requirements, Renera noted.

Russia’s Tsentrotekh (Novouralsk, Sverdlovsk Region), also part of TVEL, said on 5 March that it has launched a project to re-equip its in-plant transport with energy storage systems based on lithium-ion batteries of its own design and production to replace lead-acid batteries. REnera has overall responsibility for modernisation and re-equipment of special vehicles at the enterprises of the nuclear industry.

Both Tsentrotekh and Renera have mastered the production of energy storage systems based on lithium-ion energy storage systems for in-plant electric transport, passenger electric transport and energy facilities. The companies' products are used at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant, ElectroChemical Plant (Zelegorsk), the Urals ElectroChemical Combine, the Chepetsk Mechanical Plant (Glazov) and other enterprises of the nuclear industry. 

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