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Rosatom Establishes Li-Ion Battery Unit to Expand into Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Markets
2020-10-16   |  Editor:et_editor  |  48 Numbers

Russia’s state-run nuclear energy corporation Rosatom announced on October 8 that it has completed the incorporation of its new Li-ion battery business unit. In actuality, Rosatom is an enormous conglomerate that also serves as the largest utility in Russia and the main fuel supplier of state-run nuclear power plants. The full English names of this entity include the Rosatom State Corporation, the Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, and the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom.

The new Li-ion battery business unit is registered under the name RENERA. Previously, RENERA was called Cathode Materials (LLC) and operated as a subsidiary of nuclear fuel supplier TVEL, which itself is under the control of Rosatom.

Once up and running, RENERA will be manufacturing and selling “module type Li-ion traction batteries” that power the motors of electric vehicles. According to the official press release about the incorporation of the new business unit, RENERA’s solutions for electrification of logistics are expected to be the most cutting-edge and economical in the market.

Besides batteries for electric vehicles, RENERA will also be developing emergency power supply systems and utility-scale energy storage systems. The latter can be deployed to support renewable power plants and load smoothing.

The number of battery projects that Rosatom has completed or is working on has topped 120. All of them are related to the provisioning of energy storage devices that are based on the Li-ion battery technology. Furthermore, they cover a wide range of applications or purposes such as upgrade of electric vehicles, installation of DC substation systems, and development of uninterrupted power supply systems.

Rosatom is betting on Li-ion batteries because their high cost-efficiency and technological maturity make them a suitable solution for today’s logistics. The press release points out that module type Li-ion traction batteries do not require maintenance because they are sealed tight. They are also less susceptible to explosion and can operate within a wide temperature range. Compared with traditional lead-acid batteries, Li-ion batteries are more environment-friendly as they do not leak toxic fluid.

Emin Askerov, director general of RENERA, says via the press release that his team has the capacity to develop comprehensive solutions to meet clients’ needs. This kind of package encompasses a feasibility study, equipment installation, and post-warranty service.

Askerov emphasizes that RENERA strictly follows clients’ requirements with respect to technical specifications. At the same time, the company is willing to make flexible commercial arrangements. Askerov adds that his team has already finished projects that are under a leasing framework. In the future, RENERA will be pursuing similar leasing and life-cycle agreements.

Rosatom has just completed three nuclear projects in Russia and is now setting up 36 reactor units in other countries (with progress at various stages for individual units). As a utility, Rosatom accounts for around 19% of Russia’s electricity supply. The vast portfolio of this conglomerate includes renewable energies such as wind power. Its subsidiary TVEL supplies fuel to more than 70 nuclear power plants in 13 countries. In total, Rosatom with its 350 business units employs a workforce of over 250,000 people.

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