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Chinese battery companies weigh $1.2 billion Vietnam foray

Xiamen Hithium, whose batteries currently power China’s largest BESS unit, could invest between $500-900 million in a greenfield plant in Vietnam. Image: Xiamen Hithium

Chinese energy storage companies are evaluating big investments in Vietnam, which could total as much as $1.2 billion, according to news agency Reuters, which quoted unidentified government and industry officials in its report.

According to the report, Xiamen Hithium Energy Storage Technology, whose product portfolio includes square and cylindrical batteries, battery modules and clusters and energy storage systems, is evaluating a greenfield plant on a 30-hectare industrial site.

The investment could be at least $500 million and go as high as $900 million, sources told the agency. Xiamen Hithium operates China's largest

Xiamen Hithium currently operates a 15 GWh gigafactory at Chongqing in China, and is currently expanding capacity to an undisclosed number, estimates for capacity target by the end of 2035 vary from 50 GWh (according to the company's website) to 135 GWh elsewhere.

Another company, Growatt New Energy, plans to invest close to $300 million to acquire a 15-hectare industrial land for construction of a new factory. Shenzen-headquartered Growatt, which makes battery systems and residential and commercial-scale inverters, already leases a pre-fabricated plant in Vietnam.

The moves by Xiamen Hithium and Growatt are in line with the trend of Chinese companies launching or expanding manufacturing projects in the small country, whose cheap labour has helped make it a global export hub.

Chinese companies are also setting up battery capacity in developed countries, in an attempt to calm nations' energy security fears and be closer to the market. However, suspicion of links with the Chinese government can prove counterproductive. 

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