(Yicai Global) Dec. 5 -- Shanghai Pret Composites, a Chinese maker of polymer materials, climbed by over 9 percent in morning trading after it announced that its new cell plant will be able to produce both lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries.
The Shenzhen-listed shares of Pret Composites [SHE:002324] closed up 5.59 percent at CNY17.56 (USD2.53).
Overall investment in the new battery plant, which will be situated in Nantong, Jiangsu province, near the estuary of the Yangtze River, will be CNY218 million (USD31.4 million). The company is expanding its energy-storage cell business, it said in a statement issued yesterday evening, adding that construction of the new plant will take seven months.
With a planned annual capacity of 1.3 gigawatt hours, the facility will produce lithium-ion cells and can manufacture sodium-ion batteries as well after switching the raw materials and the production process, the statement said.
The new plant will improve the company’s capability in supplying lithium batteries, allowing it to take on larger-scale projects, and sodium-ion cells are growing in importance, the statement also noted.
Sodium-ion batteries work in a similar way to lithium-ion batteries but they are cheaper to make as sodium salt is the main component in their electrode materials. Sodium-ion batteries can be used as a substitute for lithium batteries in applications with relatively low energy density requirements. However, with the rapid improvement of production technology, sodium-ion batteries are also beginning to be used in electric vehicles as well.
It’s the company’s latest capacity expansion scheme, coming after its restructuring in August, and is part of its move into the new-energy cell business.
Editor: Tom Litting