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India to add more than 1GWh of lithium-ion battery assembly capacity this year

India is expected to add more than 1GWh of lithium-ion battery assembly capacity this year, with a host of companies getting in on the act, according to the head of the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA).

The South Asian country has already surpassed 1GWh of distributed lithium-ion battery deployment for applications such as telecom towers and bank ATM machines, but to reach this stage companies had been importing complete battery packs from outside India.

However, Rahul Walawalkar, IESA executive director, told Energy-Storage.News that strong demand for batteries in such applications has continued. Therefore, since the end of last year, many firms have started setting up assembly capacity in India and only buying cells from the likes of China, Japan and Korea.

Walawalkar added: “There are multiple companies who are putting in 100MWh or more pack assembly capacity right now.”

Major companies including Acme, Delta, Exicom, to name a few, are all working on such facilities of various capacities. At least five companies have already completed plants, while several other projects are expected to be completed in the next two or three months, once equipment has been delivered. This week, Indian business newspaper Economic Times also reported that Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the nation's biggest fuel supplier, is developing batteries and other technology for energy storage applications. According to Economic Times, while IOC is mainly focusing on lead-acid, it is also working on lithium-ion battery chemistries.

Walawalkar also noted: “There are at least four or five additional companies who are right now at earlier stages; they have identified the land; they are finalising partnerships for procuring cells.”

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