AMTE Power’s sodium-ion cells selected by AceOn

AMTE Power

AMTE Power Plc (LON:AMTE), the developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery cells for specialist market, has announced that AceOn, the Midlands-based renewable energy and battery specialist, has placed an initial order for 1,000 of AMTE Power’s next generation sodium-ion cells.

AMTE Power and AceOn will together be delivering one of the world’s first solar-powered energy storage units to bring electricity to remote sub-Saharan African communities.

The innovative portable energy storage power unit, AceOnPES, will run on sodium-ion battery cells produced by AMTE Power to help bring clean, affordable and sustainable power to some of the poorest and most remote regions in the future. It can be used for primary or back up power generation and is ideal for areas where the electricity infrastructure is not reliable, or it is insufficient to meet local needs, such as parts of Africa, India and Australia.

Last year the company announced that it had entered into partnership with Sheffield-based Faradion to develop its Ultra Safe product, which uses Faradion’s patented sodium-ion technology. 

The wide availability of sodium compared to the metals required in more conventional lithium-ion cells creates the opportunity for wider and cheaper battery manufacture – helping to meet demand for greater production rates required for energy storage systems that will support a transition to renewable power.

The company is developing Ultra Safe at the Company’s existing facility in Thurso, Scotland, while simultaneously progressing plans for its new UK Gigafactory.

Kevin Brundish, CEO at AMTE Power, commented:

“Our work with AceOn represents a further step in our commercialisation of differentiated cells that will power the energy transition. Sodium-ion has huge potential for application in energy storage where there is a need to dramatically scale-up production of safe, stable battery technology alongside the growth of renewables. 

“The UK has long been a pioneer in new battery technology and partnerships like ours underpin the opportunity for the UK to be the driving force in the development of sodium-ion.”

Mark Thompson, managing director of Telford-based AceOn, commented:

“The battery industry is reliant on rare earth minerals like lithium and cobalt, which are finite in supply. Sodium is abundant and greener to extract, so we are working together with AMTE to be their first customer to successfully commercialise sodium-ion.

“We’ve been championing sodium-based technology for years as a sustainable alternative to lithium-ion, and thanks to our partnership with AMTE, we can finally use it in our products starting with the AceOnPES and later making it part of our standard battery ranges for OEMs. These batteries are the future.”

Half Year Update

Kevin Brundish, CEO of AMTE Power said:

“A year on from listing we have used our proven cell manufacturing expertise to forge our clear pathway to full commercialisation as the market leader in advanced battery cells focusing on the huge global markets of energy storage and high-performance automotive sectors. We have invested in ongoing development, increased cell production rates, and developed commercial relationships and partnerships as well as refined our plans during the past six months. We anticipate that significant milestones will be achieved during 2022.  

AMTE is an exciting, commercially advanced business, with a depth of operational expertise and management know-how to deliver on its plans and looks forward to engaging with key stakeholders as we achieve important steps in the business’ evolution.”

Update on achievements and milestones:

·      Battery cell development continues at pace – both the Ultra Energy (UE) cell and Ultra High Power (UHP) cell currently undergoing significant scale up and testing trials at the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (“UKBIC”) where the UK Government has invested £130m into a high-rate cell production facility.

o  AMTE was one of the first to take advantage of this facility as part of the scale up of its products in advance of commercialisation, commencing work there in 2021.

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o  Trials using Gigascale production equipment have achieved goals, looking to raise the bar further.

o  Continued leveraging of opportunities from manufacturing know-how at AMTE’s unique Thurso production facility with production rates increasing during the period and planning permission granted to extend this site and capability.

o  Ultra Storage our LFP cell, Ultra Prime and Ultra Safe cells continue to hit development milestones.

·      Development and commercial partnerships maturing to active commercial discussions.

o  Named development and steering committee partners include BMW, Arrival, QinetiQ, Faradion.

o  Initial commercial supply opportunities equivalent to 6 GWh.

o  First commercial contract for Ultra Safe sodium-ion cells with AceOn announced today.

·      AMTE continues to progress and underpin its plans for a new Gigafactory.  

o  Three potential sites have been identified in the UK, with engagement underway with local authorities and design development.

o  Medium term scope increased to 10 GWh in a modular approach.

o  A final decision on Gigafactory site selection is expected in 2022, with commercial production in 2025.

o  Continued discussions with the Automotive Transformation Fund and Advanced Propulsion Centre regarding government funding to support Gigafactory development.

·      Successful launch of Australian joint venture with InfraNomics.

o  AMTE to licence Ultra Storage cell to joint venture company, Bardan Cells.

o  Proposed factory has initial target of 200,000 cells per annum with plan to scale to 2GWh.

o  Negotiations with equipment suppliers nearing completion, and site selection, equipment ordering and ground-breaking all expected in 2022. Bardan work expected to provide valuable learning experience and underpin UK Gigafactory build.

o  Joint venture gives AMTE access to Australia’s more mature renewables energy storage market.

AMTE Power qualified for Green Economy Mark Status on Admission:

·      50% of revenues contribute to global green economy.

·      Business is at heart of the Green Industrial Revolution in UK and global energy transition.

Market trends – significant growth opportunities from energy transition

·      Energy Storage:

o  Demand for Energy Storage Systems expected to grow 21% p.a. from 23 GWh p.a. in 2020 to 155 GWh p.a. in 2030. Globally there is expected to be a $262 billion cumulative investment between 2021 and 2030 (Bloomberg NEF 2019 & 21).

o  Legislative backdrop: reliance on fossil fuels is decreasing (UK Future Homes and Buildings Standard 2025).

·      Automotive: 

o  The global automotive battery market is forecast to grow to $103bn by 2030, a CAGR of 6.57% from its 2021 size of $44bn in 2021 (Bloomberg NEF 2019 & 21).

o  By 2030 UK is expected to need 90 GWh per hours p.a. batteries for cars and light commercial vehicles, 11% of total demand across Europe. (APC)

o  Estimated market size of 91 GWh in Europe targeted by AMTE’s UE cell and 5 GWh for power cells (1 GWh of which is for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles) targeted by AMTE’s UHP cell . (Exawatt)

Half Year Financial Performance reflects continued investment in commercialisation plans:

·      Turnover of £0.81 million up 31% (H1:2021: £0.62 million).

·      Loss before tax of £2.65 million (H1 2021: loss £1.46 million)

·      Balance sheet strength underpins investment phase:

o  Cash and cash equivalents of £6.26 million (H1 2021: £0.22 million).

Outlook

·      UHP cell expected to achieve Gigafactory production rates at UKBIC

·      Ultra Safe cell on track to be released in 2022

·      Announcement of Gigafactory site in 2022 to support a ramp up in production, to meet growing demand driven by the global energy transition.

·      As a result of refining product development, scale up, and increasing operational capacity, we expect reduced revenue and a moderate impact on loss before tax over the next two years.

·      Conversion of MoUs into supply contracts in energy storage markets, in addition to existing contract, in support of accelerated build out of production capacity.

·      Continue our transition towards high volume production.

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