South Korea. Michigan. Japan. And Russia?

These are some of the lithium-ion battery capitols of the world, and that last one has earned a space on the list thanks to news that "the world's largest high-capacity lithium-ion battery factory" has just started production in Russia's Far East.

Operated by Liotech, which is a joint venture between RUSNANO and the Chinese holding company Thunder Sky, the new humongo plant is more than 40,000 square meters large (about 10 acres) and has an annual capacity of 1 GWh or a million batteries a year. The press release announcing the plant says Liotech could make enough lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries for 500,000 electric buses each year. That's just nuts. Oh, and the plant was built – on schedule – in just nine months at a cost of 13.5 billion rubles ($420 million U.S. at today's exchange rates). The batteries are destined for both transportation and stationary grid storage use. More details in this story from our archives and in the press release after the jump.
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World's Largest Lithium Battery Plant to Open in Russian Far East

Novosibirsk -- Liotech, a joint venture between RUSNANO and Chinese holding company Thunder Sky, has launched the world's largest high-capacity lithium-ion battery factory near Novosibirsk. Investments in the project exceed 13.5 billion rubles. The plant, which covers more than 40,000 square meters, was built in record time-nine months from start to finish.

RUSNANO CEO Anatoly Chubais, First Deputy Governor of Novosibirsk Oblast Alexei Khomlyansky, and Liotech CEO Alexander Erokhin participated in the opening ceremonies.

The Liotech plant will produce batteries of various capacities (200 Ah, 300 Ah, and 700 Ah) using environmentally safe nanostructured cathode material of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4). Among all materials used in mass production, this one provides the best battery properties.

The new factory has design capacity of more than 1 GWh or approximately one million batteries per year. Capacity is sufficient to equip 500,000 electric buses with batteries.

Liotech produces service-free lithium-ion batteries that are distinguished for their high energy density. They are capable of working in a wide range of temperatures. These characteristics give Liotech batteries considerable breadth of use-in electric vehicle transport and in electric power generation as storage systems and sources of uninterruptible power supply. Additionally, after their use in electric transport, these batteries can be used for 10 years to 15 years as batteries for the electric-power industry. Use of these types of batteries is absolutely safe for the environment.

The company has already signed a number of contracts for battery supply prior to commissioning the plant, which indicates the high demand for Liotech's products. Prime customer MOBEL has already concluded a three-billion-ruble contract for batteries.

"The new factory is an outstanding example of the local impact of transferring the foreign high technology. It has led to construction of modern production facilities. When plant capacity has been met, more than 500 individuals will be employed. In realizing a program to replace imports, we are creating an entire cluster of new high-tech production for materials and components related to the batteries and also an engineering center which is an excellent synergy," RUSNANO Managing Director Sergey Polikarpov said.

"Implementation of public electric transport equipped with our lithium-ion batteries will significantly improve the environment in large cities in Russia. Use of the batteries in combination with alternative sources of energy will promote the development of 'green technology' and increase the energy efficiency of the Russian economy. We are already seeing interest in our storage batteries from Russian Railways, the Moscow Metro, electric power networks and power generating companies, businesses in the military industrial complex, the public utilities sector, and telecommunications companies," noted Liotech CEO Alexander Erokhin.

Applications of Liotech batteries

Thanks to their unique properties, lithium-ion batteries have a broad range of uses:

As automotive batteries for electric vehicle transport. The cost of operating electric buses is one-fifth to one-seventh that of operating buses with internal combustion engines.

As energy storage units for alternative sources of energy, among them solar panels and wind turbines.

As energy storage units for smoothing peak loads in electric power systems and for regulating voltage frequency at power stations and in electric power networks.

As mobile emergency power supply sources for cargo transport by truck.

As sources of uninterruptible power supply for particularly important objects of infrastructure, including public transportation systems, airports, railways, hospitals, and data storage centers.

Advantages of Liotech batteries

No memory effect after many charge-discharge cycles.

Large travel distance of an electric bus with one charge-up to 300 kilometers.

Battery service life exceeding 600,000 kilometers, or seven to eight years of operation.

70 percent charge in 20 minutes using high-amperage current.

Safety and reliability confirmed by international certifications.

Comparatively low cost of the batteries-several times lower than their nearest rivals.

Capable of operating within a large range of temperatures, -45°C to +65°C.

Liotech is a joint enterprise of RUSNANO and international holding company Thunder Sky. Liotech produces high-capacity lithium-ion batteries based on production technology from Thunder Sky whose batteries have been awarded international certificates for large-scale production. The batteries are easily adaptable to series of transportation models. They have been used and enhanced in municipal passenger and cargo electric transport in China, Europe, and the United States for more than five years.

Liotech's production base is located in Novosibirsk Oblast at the PNK-Tolmachevo industrial-logistics park. The factory meets all standards for technological and environmental safety. For more information, please visit www.liotech.ruOpen in new window.

RUSNANO was founded in March 2011 as an open joint stock company through reorganization of state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. RUSNANO's mission is to develop the Russian nanotechnology industry through co-investment in nanotechnology projects with substantial economic potential or social benefit. The Government of the Russian Federation owns 100 percent of the shares in RUSNANO. Anatoly Chubais is CEO and chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO.

Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and training for nanotechnology specialists, formerly conducted by the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, has been entrusted to the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, a non-commercial fund also established through reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.

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