GPSC allots B1.1bn for batteries

GPSC allots B1.1bn for batteries

Global Power Synergy Plc (GPSC) is developing the country's first production plant for semi-solid batteries in Map Ta Phut, Rayong, with a project worth 1.1 billion baht.

Yesterday GPSC signed a 295-million-baht construction agreement for this pilot plant with Japan-based Thai Takasago Co to develop the site on a plot of 12 rai, adjacent to GPSC's gas-fired power plant in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate.

The facility for semi-solid batteries is projected to have total capacity of 30 megawatt-hours (MWh), scheduled to commence commercial operation by December.

The power capacity can be scaled up to 100MWh in 2021.

Chawalit Tippawanich, GPSC's president and chief executive, said Thai Takasago was selected because it has extensive experience in constructing battery plants requiring advanced and complicated techniques.

The battery output is designed for stationary purposes or an unmovable energy storage system (ESS).

GPSC plans to create an ecosystem of stationary ESS in 2020 by coordinating with the PTT group of companies to apply ESS for internal power resources. After that ESS for vehicles will come on line, said Mr Chawalit.

"For vehicle batteries, GPSC plans to focus on public vehicles such as tuk-tuks and buses," he said.

Mr Chawalit said the average cost of ESS at the pilot plant is US$300 per KWh and should drop to $200 per KWh after increasing capacity.

"GPSC plans to increase battery capacity to 2 gigawatt-hours in coming years, so the cost will fall below $100 per KWh," he said.

Mr Chawalit said GPSC has been a licensee of the Boston-based battery startup 24M Technologies Inc since 2014 to develop ESS technologies for power grid and transport applications.

GPSC will consider building a new gigawatt-scale battery plant, depending on future demand with potential partners from power producers, electric vehicle manufacturers and other related industries, he said.

The Eastern Economic Corridor and new smart city development will beef up demand for batteries and ESS technologies, said Mr Chawalit. GPSC aims to produce and distribute these batteries in Southeast Asia.

"Once the regional market is established, GPSC plans to become an energy solution service provider for renewable energy and smart city developer," he said.

GPSC has developed semi-solid batteries with 24M on a laboratory scale and conducted tests at Cafe Amazon and the logistics and R&D centre of PTT Global Chemical Plc in Rayong as an energy resource and back-up power unit.

"The technologies of 24M have shorter production periods, require less raw materials and are safer," said Mr Chawalit.

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