Energy news websites and other media outlets have reported that Russian state-owned energy company Rosatom has chosen Kaliningrad as the location for its new manufacturing base for lithium-ion batteries. Bordering between Poland and Lithuania, the Kaliningrad Oblast remains strategically vital to Russia’s interests in the Baltic Region.
The battery manufacturing base in Kaliningrad was originally designed to have an initial annual production capacity of 2GWh, but its development plan has been revised with the initial annual production capacity now expanded to 3GWh. Last year, Rosatom’s nuclear fuel unit TVEL transformed its subsidiary Cathode Materials into Renera. This new entity specializes in the development of lithium-ion energy storage systems and modular batteries for various applications. Then in March this year, Rosatom acquired a 49% stake in Enertech International, a South Korean battery manufacturer. According to the reporting by other media outlets, the battery manufacturing base in Kaliningrad will adopt the technology from Enertech, and its operation will be managed by Renera. The base is schedule to enter operation in 2026.
Rosatom has stated that the modular lithium-ion batteries that it is developing for electric vehicles is “one of the most cost-efficient and technologically advanced solutions for intralogistics”. Specifically, Rosatom is working on a lithium-ion battery that is explosion-proof, does not contain dangerous acids, and requires no maintenance.
Emin Askerov, director general of Renera, told media outlets that trends in the Russian market indicate that the production capacity that was set last year for the manufacturing base in Kaliningrad is insufficient to meet the growing demand. To help achieve the Russian government’s latest targets for the electrification of the domestic transportation system, Renera is considering to eventually increase the annual production capacity of the Kaliningrad base to 12GWh. TVEL is currently producing modular lithium-ion traction batteries as well as energy storage systems for emergency power supply, renewable integration, and load leveling.
News agencies and websites including Bloomberg and Power Metallurgy Review reported that the Russian government approved a plan this August to raise the number of electric vehicles in the domestic market over the next three years. The plan calls for battery-electric models make up 10% of all cars manufactured in the country by the end of 2030. The government will also push for the construction of more than 9,000 charging stations across the country between 2021 and 2024. Approximately RUB 591 billion will be invested in the implementation of this ambitious plan.