IM3NY builds on ashes of Alevo16 May 2018
Imperium3 New York (IM3NY) – a partnership of Magnis and C4V – has placed the winning bid to acquire Alevo’s lithium-ion battery manufacturing equipment, located in North Carolina, USA (in a former Philip Morris cigarette factory), for what appears to be a knock-down price of $5 million and enabling it to go into battery production sooner than expected, with significant cost savings.
The lithium-ion battery plant assets consist of “high quality new and near new equipment from major United States and European suppliers”, says IM3NY. Over US$200 million was initially invested by Alevo into the plant, which was launched with great fanfare (see Modern Power Systems, Jan 2015, pp 22-25) and commenced full scale operations in 2016, employing over 290 people.
The liquidation came about, says IM3NY, because Alevo focused exclusively on grid scale batteries (which it called GridBank) and “constrained production to bespoke lithium-ion batteries that had limited commercial appeal, while the facility itself was equipped to manufacture large volume batteries for the auto industry or power walls for home usage which are now growing in demand.”
IM3NY says it has thoroughly reviewed the technology and confirmed that “the procured plant can easily and cost effectively be calibrated for such large volume manufacturing runs” and as a result believes “this is a low risk, cost-effective and value-accretive transaction.”
The plant accommodates “all operations from slurry making to coating to cell assembly, formation and testing and even includes module assembly and packing”, says IM3NY.
The equipment will now be disconnected and packed for transport to Imperium’s Huron Campus in New York where it will be re-assembled and re-engineered for battery production at a nominal 1GWh/y scale. Plant re-engineering will be directed at incorporating Imperium3’s materials and processing technology IP as well as introducing additional cylindrical battery production beyond that existing for prismatic production.
As previously announced, Stage 1 development for 3 GWh/y of production at Huron Campus had an original estimated CAPEX cost of US$130m. This Alevo equipment acquisition now “allows IM3NY to produce over 1 GWh/y at a significantly reduced CAPEX cost of US$5 million, plus removal, re-engineering and reassembly”, the company says.
Plant relocation, re-assembly and re-engineering for production at 1 GWh/y capacity was scheduled to begin immediately with the commencement of plant operations scheduled for the first half of 2019, as opposed to the original end 2019 target, albeit at reduced capacity.
The company says operation at Huron will have major implications for the development of planned future Gigafactories, including: qualification of its “low cost and sustainable” materials technologies; demonstration of its supply chain viability; acceleration of strategic partnering with companies in lithium-ion battery production; and validation of “high yield.”
Magnis chairman Frank Poullas said: “In comparison to the build cost of the original plant as well as a new plant of equivalent size, the value we have gained here is most satisfying. The battery plant equipment will allow us to get 1 GWh of production in a short period.”