India has entered a strategic agreement with Argentina to establish scientific-technological co-operation in the field of Lithium which includes joint exploration, production and commercialization of mineral products.
In February, when President of the Argentine Republic, H.E. Mr. Mauricio Macri visited India, the two countries had expressed a commitment to further deepen cooperation in several areas including renewable energy and mining.
Building on already established strong ties between the two countries, the latest MoU is India’s effort to secure critical minerals in response to the Chinese dominance and control of rare earth metals and key mineral reserves worldwide. India relies heavily on China for imports of Lithium-ion cells required for making battery packs used in electric vehicles and energy storage solutions.
Further, India has set a target to have least 30 percent of its vehicles run on electrical batteries by 2030, and to have 175 GW power generation from renewable energy sources by 2022 – to achieve both these targets India needs to acquire a substantial amount of lithium.
This MoU, therefore, looks at eventually reducing India's dependence on Chinese markets for the supply of Li-ion cells and bolster domestic manufacturing.
The agreement was signed between the Indian joint venture company Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL) and an Argentine state-owned enterprise, JEMSE in the presence of the Governor of the Argentine Province of Jujuy, Gerardo Morales, the head of JEMSE, Felipe Albornoz, and the CEO of KABIL India, Ranjit Rath.
The MoU allows India to do joint work in the areas of exploration and production of minerals, such as lithium and polymetallic, as well as those projects related to the addition of the value of lithium carbonate, production, and transmission of electrical energy. It further looks to enhance cooperation in the study, information, and commercialization of the mineral products.
The goal is to establish a society to develop, build, commercially market and jointly operate projects with a high technological content in the energy, mining and natural resource exploitation fields in the territory of the Province of Jujuy.
Argentina is among the top lithium producing countries in the world, and the provinces of Catamarca, Salta, and Jujuy, are known to have a significant quantity and quality of lithium reserves.
Global technology and powertrain supplier Cummins Inc announced an agreement to form a joint venture with hydrogen storage and transportation specialist NPROXX to provide customers with hydrogen products for a range of applications across the transportation sector.
The joint venture aimed at providing hydrogen storage will continue under the name NPROXX.
“We are joining forces to deliver industry-leading hydrogen storage and transportation solutions,” said Rainer vor dem Esche, Managing Director, NPROXX.
According to statement released by Cummins, the JV will provide customers with hydrogen and compressed natural gas storage products for both on-highway and rail applications.
“We are thrilled to combine Cummins’ expertise, innovation, and commitment to customer success with NPROXX’s leading hydrogen storage technologies,” said Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO, Cummins Inc. “The addition of hydrogen storage to our existing capabilities in hydrogen production and fuel cells enables us to accelerate the viability and adoption of these technologies in commercial markets.”
This move is a win-win for both the companies as it will help Cummins deepen its capabilities in fuel cell and hydrogen production technologies and for NPROXX this venture will help the business grow in a much faster and more targeted way.
According to the company, the acquisition of Hydrogenics Corporation in September 2019, provided Cummins with both proton exchange membrane (PEM), and alkaline fuel cells electrolyzers to generate hydrogen. Cummins has also invested in LOOP Energy, signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyundai Motor Company and invested in the development of solid oxide fuel cells.
“Cummins has more than 2,000 fuel cell installations across a variety of on and off-highway applications as well as more than 500 electrolyzer installations,” Linebarger added. “We continue to increase our capabilities in fuel cell technologies, and this partnership with NPROXX is another step forward.”
Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd (SECI) has announced the financial results for its tender of 1.95 MW Solar PV Power Plant with 2.15 MWh battery storage systems at the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. SunSource Energy won the tender with the least bid of ₹ 23.5 crore.
It was earlier mentioned in the notice-inviting-tender document that the entire project will be allocated to a single bidder based on the price bid for the cumulative capacity. SunSource Energy was recognized as the lowest bidder with a bid price of ₹23.5 crore after the financial evaluation of the price bids received by SECI for the tender.
Solar Energy Corporation of India floated this project in September 2019, for the development of 1.95 MW of solar projects with 2.15 MWh of battery energy storage systems (BESS).
Scope of work for this tender includes design, engineering, supply, construction, assembly, testing and commissioning of cumulative 1.95 MW (AC) solar PV power plants with 2.15 MWh BESS having 10 years plant operating and maintenance at four different islands of the Lakshadweep UT in India.
The four islands on which the project will be developed in Lakshadweep are Agatti, Kavaratti, BangaRam and Thinnakara. The Lakshadweep solar + storage project is expected to significantly reduce the diesel consumption of these islands. Alongside it will lower the existing electricity costs while offsetting millions of kilograms of CO2 emission over its lifetime by providing clean and reliable energy. The commissioning timeline for this project is twelve months from the date of signing the Letter of Award (LOA).
Remarking on this occasion, Adarsh Das, CEO and co-founder, SunSource Energy said, “Our island power-projects at Lakshadweep for SECI are an instance of the direction in which the power sector is headed: away from fossil fuels, towards grid modernization through energy storage and intelligent grids and mini-grids. We are happy to work with the island, the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission and Solar Energy Corporation of India, to help develop and build these projects.”
Kushagra Nandan, President and co-founder, SunSource Energy added, "Our track record of adapting the latest viable technologies to our solar plants enabled us to develop one of India’s first private solar + storage projects for a school in Uttar Pradesh way back in 2013. We understand that storage will play a key part in powering India’s growth ambitions and are glad to have contributed to the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s clean energy targets with our efforts over the last decade."
Image credit- Sunsource
India’s biggest power generator NTPC along with state-run oil and gas explorer ONGC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up a joint venture for renewable energy business on Thursday, May 21.
As per the MoU, NTPC and ONGC will explore the setting up of offshore wind and other renewable energy projects in India and overseas. They shall also explore opportunities in the fields of sustainability, storage, e-mobility, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) compliant projects.
"Through this collaboration with NTPC, ONGC envisages significant growth in its presence in the renewable power sector as outlined in its Energy Strategy 2040 document," stated ONGC.
The MoU was signed by Subhash Kumar, ONGC Director (Fin) in-charge Business Development & Joint Ventures and A K Gupta, NTPC Director (Commerce) through virtual conferencing, in presence of Gurdeep Singh, CMD NTPC and Shashi Shanker, CMD ONGC along with the other directors and officials of both the companies.
“NTPC presently has 920 MW of installed renewable power projects in its portfolio and about 2300 MW of RE projects under construction. With this tie-up, NTPC would accelerate its RE capacity addition program and also expand its footprint in offshore wind and overseas renewable energy projects. This will help India's largest power generator achieve its ambitious target of 32 GW of Renewable Energy Projects by 2032,” said NTPC in its statement.
ONGC has a renewable portfolio of 176 MW comprising 153 MW wind power and 23 MW of solar. This development is expected to help the company's presence in the RE power business and achieve its ambition of adding 10 GW of renewable power to its portfolio by 2040.
Plan for India’s first lithium refinery is forging ahead after Neometals Ltd. and Manikaran Power Ltd approved a feasibility study for a project that aims to supply a nation set to become the fourth-largest electric-vehicle market by 2040.
The refinery will have a proposed capacity of 20,000 tons a year of lithium hydroxide, Australia’s Neometals said Thursday in a statement. The study will support staged investment decisions for a potential 50:50 joint venture to develop the project.
India’s ambition of becoming a global hub for making EVs faces challenges from a lack of access to raw materials, such as lithium, needed to produce batteries. The proposed project by Neometals and Manikaran is part of a nascent drive by the nation to build battery factories and secure supplies for the burgeoning EV industry.
The project would also be timed to hit a supply crunch in the lithium sector from the middle of the decade as demand from battery producers builds, Neometals Chief Executive Officer Chris Reed said in the statement. Disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic have also illustrated the importance of developing domestic supply chains, including in India, he said.
Passenger EV sales in India are expected to rise to 2.6 million vehicles in 2040, from about 3,000 in 2018, BloombergNEF said last year. In 2040, the fleet of electric passenger and commercial freight vehicles in India will displace 360,000 barrels of fuel demand every day.
As electric vehicle adoption grows the world over, lithium demand from batteries -- an essential component of vehicles -- will double every five years to reach 1.6 million tons of lithium carbonate equivalent by 2030, according to a report last month by BloombergNEF.
The secretary of MNRE Anand Kumar in his latest tweet stated that all renewable energy projects under implementation will be given an extension on account of the 21-day lockdown imposed on the country.
“All Renewable Energy projects under implementation will be given extension of time considering period of lock down and time required for remobilisation of work force,” said Anand Kumar, secretary of MNRE in a tweet.
The spread of coronavirus in China disrupted the supply chain of components used in RE project at the beginning of the year. Further, it’s spread in India also impacted the availability of workforce, with industry shutdowns and the government announcing a complete 21 days lockdown across India starting March 25.
In this context, the extension of time will provide great relief to all the stakeholders in the RE sector noted the press release issued by MNRE.
India went under complete lockdown on March 25 for a period of 21 days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted the lockdown as “very necessary to break the chain of coronavirus.”
- By Shraddha Kakade
While the Government of India has strongly pushed for faster adoption of electric vehicles and the manufacturing of advanced energy storage technologies in India, organizations committed to the cause of technology-driven sustainable and holistic mobility transformation aren’t too far behind.
India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), an alliance that works in the area of energy, advanced energy storage and electric mobility along with the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) successfully concluded India’s first-ever Li-ion fabrication workshop in Pune today.
The first-of-its-kind two-day workshop was designed by IESA experts to assist industry understanding of the Li-ion cell manufacturing process. The participants, which included, several battery systems providers and manufacturers in India learned about raw materials required, equipment and detailed process of Li-ion cell manufacturing through a mix of hands-on lab training and expert lectures.
“At IESA, we believe that it is high time for the Indian industry to take up R&D and advanced cell manufacturing so that we reduce our dependence on other countries,” said Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President of IESA.
"The recent pandemic related to COVID19 has highlighted the importance of domestic manufacturing considering the risk of global supply chain disruptions. Energy storage and EVs have importance for national energy security and we should learn from the recent events and accelerate our efforts for building domestic capabilities,” Dr. Walawalkar added.
The Hands-on Li-ion Cell Fabrication workshop included practical lab training for pouch cell fabrication, preparation of cathode ink and coating on current collectors of electrode fabrication, battery testing and criteria for cell selection. It also included presentations on cell manufacturing, chemistries and performance characteristics, and next-generation Li-ion technologies.
“They had a good study of cell-chemistries, good technical knowledge, and test equipment,” said Srinivas Badam, one of the participants of the workshop. IESA should have more joint ventures with other organizations and OEM’s so many more can benefit from this, Badam added.
Li-ion batteries are extremely important to the e-mobility and stationary storage sector due to several advantages of Li-ion battery chemistries. In India, a growing number of battery pack manufacturers are now assembling high capacity packs to meet the needs of fast-evolving electric vehicles and stationary storage market.
“It is our responsibility to support the industry so that India can pick up Li-ion manufacturing instead of depending on other countries,” said Dr. Bharat Kale, Director of Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology. “India’s first workshop by IESA along with CMET is a step towards it. We thank MeitY for creating such a facility and further [Li-ion fabrication] initiative in this regard at CMET Pune,” Dr. Kale added.
Dr. Satyajit Phadke, Manager R&D, Customized Energy Solutions (CES) who led the workshop stressed that such training so far were only available in developed countries like Germany and the US. “This workshop is our effort to help bring down the costs of such training capabilities and help the industry get a better appreciation of the R&D facilities available within India,” Dr. Phadke added.
The other presenters at the workshop included Customized Energy Solutions Dr. Shrikant Nagpure who presented on the manufacturing process of Li-ion cells, Dr. Tanmay Sarkar who presented on Li-ion battery supply chain and Harsh Thacker gave the market overview.
Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) the state-owned energy service company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with telecom PSU Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) for installing 1,000 EV charging stations.
The EV charging stations will be installed at 1,000 BSNL sites in a phased manner across the country and BSNL will provide the necessary power connections and space for the charging infrastructure to be developed.
EESL will bear the entire upfront investment on the services, including operations and maintenance of the charging station, said EESL in a company statement.
EESL has already commissioned 300 AC and 170 DC chargers across India and has installed 66 public charging points in Delhi-NCR alone.
The state-owned super-energy service company, thanks to its innovative model of demand aggregation and bulk procurement, receives EVs and chargers at a significantly lower rate as compared to the market value.
Stating that India has a population of practically 2,970 tigers at present, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on said that the country would take a prominent role in encouraging the green economy comprising conservation of mountain ecology with people's involvement.
"India has the distinction of having a population of almost 2,970 tigers. India has achieved its target of doubling the number of targets two years before the committed date of 2022. India would be taking a leading role in promoting green economy including conservation of mountain ecology with people's participation," Modi said while addressing a convention on 'Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals' at Gandhinagar via video conference.
Underlining that India's forest cover has increased considerably, the Prime Minister said, "The present assessment also indicates that the total forest cover is 21.67 percent of the total geographical area of the country. The number of protected areas has increased from 745 in 2014 to 870 in 2019 with an area coverage of nearly 1.7 lakh square km."
"The range of our initiatives includes an ambitious target of 450 megawatts in renewable energy, a push towards electric vehicles, smart cities, conservation of water and more," he said.
The Prime Minister continued that the international solar alliance, the coalition for disaster-resilient infrastructure and industries transition leadership have seen encouraging participation from countries worldwide.
Stressing on initiatives taken by India to set standards for the conservation of Asian elephants’ leopards and Asiatic lions, he said, "India is supporting more than 60 percent of the global Asian elephant population. 30 elephant reserves have been identified by our states."
"We have launched Project Snow Leopard, to protect the animal and its habitat in the Upper Himalayas. The Gir landscape in Gujarat is the only home for the Asiatic lion and the pride of the country. We have initiated an Asiatic Lion conservation project since Jan 2019 to protect them. Today, the population of Asiatic Lions stands at 523," he said.
The Prime Minister added that the Government of India has launched the National Conservation Strategy for the Indian one-horned rhinos, which are found in Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal, in 2019.
In a move to inch closer to developing its first lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant for EVs in India, Japan’s Suzuki JV invested INR 3,715 crore in the second phase of their battery venture in Gujarat.
As per reports, Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp. (SMC), Toshiba Corp., and Denso Corp. will jointly invest a sum of INR 3,715 crore. This investment is a part of the larger plan announced by Suzuki last October to invest INR 5,000 crore to build India’s first Li-ion battery manufacturing plant over a period of five years from 2021 -25.
The joint venture, Automotive Electronics Power Pvt Ltd (AEPPL) is currently building the first phase at INR 1,214 crore, and as per reports, the first phase will start production by end of 2020.
AEPPL aims to locally manufacture 30 million lithium-ion cells annually with a production capacity of more than 1GWh.
Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd, SMC’s two-wheeler arm, is already developing a prototype electric scooter for the Indian market and intends to test the vehicle sometime this year.
In addition to AEPPL, other domestic carmakers in India like Mahindra Ltd (M&M) and Tata Motors Ltd (TML) have also teamed up with international players for developing the manufacturing ecosystem for EVs in India. M&M has teamed up with Korea’s LG Chem to develop high energy density lithium-ion cells for local applications and is setting up a plant at Chakan, Pune. Tata Motors is collaborating with group companies including Tata Chemicals Ltd to develop its own lithium-ion technology. TCS Ltd, Tata Power Ltd, and Tata AutoComp Systems Pvt. Ltd is all participating in this initiative.