“Banpu NEXT” partners “Cherdchai” and “Durapower” in big project to set up lithium-Ion battery plant in Thailand To vie for shares of EV market across Asia-Pacific in the near future
Banpu NEXT, a leading Smart Energy Solutions provider in Asia-Pacific, on Thursday announced its collaboration with Cherdchai Motors Sales, the largest bus operator in Thailand, and Durapower, a global leader in performance lithium battery storage solutions, to set up lithium-Ion battery plant in Thailand.
Due to become operational in early 2023, the new battery assembly plant will produce battery systems for Cherdchai’s e-Buses and to capture opportunities in the growing market for electric vehicles (EVs) across Asia-Pacific with a plan to expand its production capacity to 1 GWh by 2026.
The collaboration brings together leading names from three industries who share the vision to align their growth with business of the future and global trends, especially electrified mobility and decarbonization. The e-Bus market in Asia-Pacific was valued at around US$40 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.52% to US$84 billion by 2027*. In the meantime, growth opportunity is foreseen in the market for batteries as a core system of electric vehicles. By setting up a battery assembly plant, this collaboration will play a key role to support Thailand’s ambition to rise as an EV production hub. To be located in Nakhon Ratchasima, it will engage in lithium-Ion battery production on behalf of Durapower with world-class quality standards across battery performance and safety. Assembly will expectedly begin in early 2023. Products from this plant will be engineered to support fast charging and offer high storage capacities to maximize the driving range of Cherdchai’s e-Buses and address battery demands in all EV segments in Thailand. By 2026, the collaboration’s production capacity will be boosted to 1 GWh to support its plan to export to overseas markets across Asia-Pacific.
Mr Sinon Vongkusolkit, Chief Executive Officer of Banpu NEXT Co., Ltd., said, “Banpu NEXT drives businesses towards the future of sustainable energy in alignment with the ‘Greener & Smarter strategy of our parent company, Banpu PCL. This partnership will strengthen our business ecosystem and support expansion of the three businesses in Banpu NEXT’s portfolio: Battery, e-Mobility and Smart Energy Solutions, such as Smart Energy Generation Solution or solar power systems. We will explore opportunities to integrate these battery systems into our Smart Energy Solutions, including Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platform for buses and EV fleet management. Moreover, we will explore future opportunities to introduce them to other market segments, such as energy storage for solar power systems and EV charging stations, as well as to expand the battery business to overseas market.”
Dr Assanee Cherdchai, Chief Executive Officer of Cherdchai Motors Sales Co., Ltd., said, “Thailand’s EV market is on an uptrend. Combined with surging fuel prices and the rise of environmental sustainability as a megatrend, we decided to form a strategic partnership with Banpu NEXT and Durapower to tap into the e-Bus market, build sustainable growth and expand our customer base through business diversification. Under this collaboration, Cherdchai will top up our 64 years of engineering expertise in bus assembly with addition of lithium-ion battery technology from the partners to manufacture e-Buses for our own fleets and our customers, including government agencies and bus companies. Customers will have peace of mind from our after-sales service, and they can also look forward to our next plan to set up bus charging stations.”
Mr Kelvin Lim, Chief Executive Officer of Durapower Group*, said, “Headquartered in Singapore, Durapower specializes in design, production and installation of energy storage systems (ESS) for electric mobility, maritime equipment and renewable energy applications. Since 2009, Durapower has been a leading innovator of Lithium-Ion cell technology, focusing on the research and development of battery materials, battery cell manufacturing and system integration. Our extensive customer base currently spans across China, Europe and Asia-Pacific, and this collaboration reflects Durapower’s commitment to continuing expansion to bring high-quality battery systems to customers across the globe. Our strategic partnership with Banpu NEXT and Cherdchai Motors Sales enables our quick and efficient entry into the Thai market and expansion across the region. As part of this partnership, Durapower will supply battery cells and modules as well as related parts and components including battery management system (BMS), and also license our technology for the assembly of battery systems for various market segments, including energy storage systems (ESS), marine applications, passenger cars, two and three-wheelers, buses and heavy commercial EVs. With Durapower’s advanced technology and production support, battery systems from this plant will boast high storage capacities to provide maximum discharge time and driving range in addition to fast-charging, lightweight designs, and high safety standards.”
“The collaboration will be another solid support, coinciding with the government’s policy to promote production and adoption of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) as Thailand makes its transition into next-generation automotive industry and also help drive the country’s evolution into a low-carbon society,” Mr Sinon concluded.
*Durapower Group is an affiliated company in which Banpu NEXT holds 47.7% stake.
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