SOFIA (Bulgaria), November 9 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian battery manufacturer Monbat [BUL:MONB] expects that by the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024 it will have an operational production facility for bipolar lead-acid batteries - a project which was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company's CEO Viktor Spiriev said.
Monbat is currently completing the tests of the last prototypes and they show very good results, Spiriev said, as seen in a video file published on the company's website on Monday.
"This technology would help us significantly reduce lead in batteries, be more cost-competitive and achieve a higher margin," Spiriev said.
In 2019, Monbat said that it is considering investing in a new 2.4GWh plant for bipolar lead-acid batteries in Vratsa, in northwestern Bulgaria. The planned investment would be about 40 million levs ($22.2 million/20.5 million euro), local media reported at the time.
Also in 2019, Monbat said that it has acquired licensing rights to the full suite of GreenSeal Bipolar Lead battery technologies of US-based Advanced Battery Concepts.
Monbat is considering two types of financing for the implementation of its bipolar batteries project - to seek EU support or a strategic investor, the CEO said in the video file.
The company also intends to seek a strategic investor in order to further develop its project for the production of lithium-ion batteries, Spiriev noted.
Monbat is currently producing lithium-ion batteries that have applications in the industry sector. For the time being, the company is mainly focused on developing such batteries for the marine sector.
Monbat also plans to explore the possibilities of developing products for energy storage.
"The lithium-ion division is one option for the development of such products and the other option is the bipolar technology," the company's CEO said.
The battery manufacturer expects an annual increase of 19.06% in its consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) at the end of 2021, to 21.9 million euro ($25.4 million), Spiriev said in a presentation of the company's revised business plans.
Monbat expects an increase of at least 5% in EBITDA next year, Spiriev also said.
The company's EBITDA in the first nine months of this year reached nearly 18 million euro, up 27% compared to a year earlier.
At the end of last month, Monbat said that its consolidated pre-tax profit from ongoing operations increased by an annual 74% in the first nine months of 2021, reaching 17.6 million levs. Consolidated net sales revenue went up 20% on the year to some 262.4 million levs in the review period.
As at 12:20 CET on Tuesday, shares in Monbat traded 0.85% lower at a price of 5.80 levs on the Sofia bourse.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)