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IESW 2024: Strengthen capital goods supply chain and skilled workforce to drive battery manufacturing growth

The second session Battery Cell Manufacturing, Upcoming Gigafactories, and other Advanced Battery Manufacturing on Day 2 of the India Energy Storage Week, 2024, focused on initial learnings of battery cell manufacturers in India, the bottlenecks and opportunities, and other advanced battery manufacturing chemistries such as vanadium redox batteries. 

Niranjan C., Chief Operating Officer, Amara Raja Batteries Ltd. gave a comprehensive talk on the battery manufacturing processes and underscored the need for big investments in various parts of the battery value chain. Speaking of the need to harness AI and digitization, Niranjan highlighted digitization is going to be an integral aspect of making homogenized and standard cells.

Vishal Chaturvedi, Business Head - Ola Cell, Ola Electric underscored that the raw materials supply chain will grow but one thing that no one talks about is the need to develop a capital goods supply chain in India. The initial CAPEX in all foreign equipment for battery manufacturing is quite high so we must develop capital goods supply chain in India. "We need to make these equipment in India," Chaturvedi underscored.

Anil Kumar, Chief Operating Officer at Nash Energy shared that we need to develop capabilities in several areas of the entire battery manufacturing process right from making equipment required for battery manufacturing indigenously to developing skillsets and capable workforce. If we can address these, it will be a big boost to the industry to achieve the goal of 500 GWh by 2030.

Bringing in a different perspective, Avishek Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO at VFlowTech discussed the need for government to incentivize new technologies other than the dominant Li-ion batteries. Further, Kumar urged, that regulatory changes to new battery technologies (for example, the difference in GST rates which impact the battery cost) should be reviewed or made standard for all.

Sriram Ramanoudjame, Director, Strategic Marketing at Blue Solutions added that current battery manufacturing ecosystem gives plenty of space for all players. However, it is important to have a clear product roadmap. "It is all about product and process inventories," he noted.

Anant Misra, Vice President EV Business at Livguard Energy cautioned that the rate at which technology is evolving is currently a big challenge. Consistency in terms of establishing standards or guidelines would help to industry grow further.

Arvind Kakru, VP of  Industrial Automation at Schneider Electric noted that digitization, AI, predictive analytics, and traceability will be crucial in the battery manufacturing process. 

Traceability is going to be a big factor in reducing wastage, quality products, and enhanced safety. He also added that better utilization of critical resources, reducing wastage, and bringing in efficiencies would be key for the industry as more and more giga factories come online.

Oda Marie Ellefsen, Technical Sales Manager at Morrow touched upon Morrow's experience of building battery production in Norway. She advocated for the need for strong collaboration between different stakeholders. 

"There is no history of battery production in Norway, and collaboration has helped us to build cells," Ellefsen said. "We have built up capacity through strong collaboration with the Norwegian government, universities, and R&D institutions." 

In conclusion, Dr. Walawalkar noted that IESA through its various initiatives will strive to address the industry concerns and jointly work concerned ministries as well. 

For more info on IESW 2024, visit indiaesa.info  

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IESW 2024: Collaboration, investments and resilient supply chain crucial for advanced battery manufacturing -  

Day 2 of the India Energy Storage Week 2024 kicked off with a high-power panel deliberating on India's roadmap for advanced battery manufacturing.
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