One company’s loss is another’s opportunity.
At the end of January, a consortium of companies seeking to establish battery production in the New York bought up the assets of the former Alevo USA Inc. manufacturing facility in Concord, North Carolina, for a total price of $5 million.
According to Australia’s Magnis Resources, which has partnered with New York battery technology company C4V and several other companies in the Imperium3 New York (IM3NY) consortium, over $200 million was initially invested in these “near-new” manufacturing assets. The equipment includes everything from slurry making to cell assembly, formation and even testing.
IM3NY has long been planning to build a lithium-ion battery plant in Broome County, New York, and is now in the process of moving this equipment there. Magnis and C4V are co-investing in the property, and Magnis has recently raised $5 million to increase its share in the partnership.
The New York plant is planned to have the capacity to produce of 1 gigawatt-hour (GWh) of batteries annually, which Magnis notes is a higher volume than Alevo was producing but is possible with the assets that it purchased. Alevo had produced a novel non-flammable lithium-ion battery based on inorganic materials, but filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last August.
“The previous manufacturers 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,” notes the company in a press statement.
“The IM3NY team thoroughly reviewed the technology and confirmed the procured plant can easily and cost-effectively be calibrated for such large volume manufacturing runs.”
This will actually be a reduction from IM3NY’s earlier plans for a 3GWh factory; however Mangis notes that the 1GWh factory is at a much lower capital cost. The company says that re-location is beginning “immediately”, with the first battery production planned for the first half of 2019.
The company says that the new factory will incorporate IM3NY’s “materials and IP processing technologies”. It will also introduce additional cylindrical battery production.
Following the sale Alevo received permission from North Carolina bankruptcy courts to move from a Chapter 11 to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, recognizing that it is now under liquidation.