EA to open battery factory as it bets on green vehicles

EA to open battery factory as it bets on green vehicles

SET-listed Energy Absolute Plc (EA), a renewable energy developer and operator, will officially open its battery and energy storage system (ESS) production facility on Dec 12 as part of its plan to become a leader in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing.

EA's lithium-ion battery production factory in Chachoengsao has passed a trial run, following a delay caused by lockdown measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The 6-billion-baht facility is designed to have a production capacity of 1 gigawatt-hour a year and is aimed at serving its EV business, notably electric bus assembly, said Vasu Klomkliang, EA's senior vice-president for strategy development and investment planning.

The annual capacity will increase to 4GWh as Thailand is expected to gradually shift from oil-powered car manufacturing to EV production, he said.

The company earlier received orders to assemble 500 buses and has already delivered 100 of them to buyers.

Delivery of the remaining buses is scheduled for early next year.

Mr Vasu said the new battery factory, operated by the company's subsidiary Amita Technology (Thailand) Co, will serve its new EV assembly factory, expected to start commercial operations in the first quarter of next year.

EA has hired companies to assemble the 100 buses while the new plant was under construction.

He said Thailand has registered around 10,000 buses each year. However, the number fell to 7,000 last year.

The company saw an opportunity in the electric bus business as many buses are ageing and the government is promoting EVs as part of efforts to fight climate change.

EA is developing a battery-run truck and expects to roll it out in the first half of next year.

The company is operating a commercial service of electric boats, with a fleet of 40 boats serving commuters along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.

In the long term, EA plans to produce stationary batteries for renewable power plants, many of which are facing the intermittency of energy sources such as the sun and wind.

"The ESS will be a help and become a game changer in the power generation industry," said Mr Vasu.

EA is also operating four solar farms, with a combined capacity of 278 megawatts, and two onshore wind farms, with a total capacity of 386MW.

The firm expects its revenue to grow by 20% this year from 17.2 billion baht in 2020. From January to September this year, its revenue rose by 16% year-on-year to 14.82 billion baht.

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