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Bulgaria's Monbat, US ABC to invest 16 mln euro in bipolar battery project

Bulgaria's Monbat, US ABC to invest 16 mln euro in bipolar battery project Photo: Monbat

SOFIA (Bulgaria), June 10 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian car battery manufacturer Monbat [BUL:MONB] and US Advanced Battery Concepts LLC (ABC) agreed on a programme to commercially develop bipolar lead-acid batteries for mass-scale industrial use, to be manufactured at a planned 1 Gigawatt plant in Bulgaria.

The project investment is estimated to amount to 16 million euro ($17 million) and will be based on ABC's existing patented technology GreenSeal, the parties said in a joint statement on Thursday after signing a memorandum.

In the first stage, Clare, Michigan-based ABC will produce so-called Alpha samples of Block B batteries, which are 48-volt, 32 amp-hour industrial batteries, at its existing US site and deliver the products to current Monbat clients and for on-site battery energy storage systems (BESS) projects.

The US firm's existing technology allows for more environmentally-friendly products that demand less raw material and will be targeted for use in the telecoms sector and in BESS systems. Monbat has been testing prototype Block B batteries in its certified testing laboratories since 2019.

"The demand for more efficient BESS and more stringent environmental requirements in terms of circularity and less greenhouse gas emissions are about to find optimal solutions in the joint product, developed by ABC and Monbat," the Bulgarian company's chief executive, Viktor Spiriev, said.

For Monbat, the collaboration is seen as a means to become the first mass scale producer of bipolar lead-acid batteries in the world, he added. He explained that the GreenSeal technology allows for the use of less lead to generate the same amount of energy, which has the benefit of cutting raw material and transport costs while reducing the need for additional mining, metallurgy, and refining processes.

"Monbat's aggressive adoption of the GreenSeal technology for next generation products is important for more than just economic reasons. While the bottom-line results are important to Monbat's business, there are three additional benefits that are important to our companies," ABC founder and CEO Edward Shaffer said, adding that the bipolar battery compares favourably to other energy storage products in terms of frequency of recycling, carbon emissions and manufacturing processes.

($ = 0.9422 euro)