A Taiwan Cement Corp (TCC, 台灣水泥) subsidiary yesterday broke ground for an advanced lithium battery plant in Kaohsiung’s Siaogang District (小港) at the former site of the cement maker’s paper mill.
Molie Quantum Energy Corp (三元能源科技) has planned to initially invest NT$12 billion (US$430.5 million) in the facility, which is to begin operations in 2023.
The facility is to have enough annual output to supply the long-range batteries needed for 24,000 electric vehicles — or 1.8 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery capacity.
Photo: Amy Yang, Taipei Times
It would use nickel, cobalt and manganese to make “ternary” batteries, and use lithium to make the anode material of the batteries, the company said.
The move is a step toward making Taiwan Cement green, company chairman Nelson Chang (張安平) told a groundbreaking ceremony.
The ceremony was attended by Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津), Kaohsiung Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) and CTCI Group (中鼎集團) chairman John Yu (余俊彥), among other guests.
“We will make our batteries for the electric vehicle market, targeting the high-end, customized segment of that market,” Chang said.
The investment would help the nation’s battery ecosystem reach an economy of scale, while generating a large number of jobs in southern Taiwan, Chang added.
With the battery capacity of the new plant and the existing capacity at E-One Moli Energy Corp (能元科技), the group’s Tainan-based battery subsidiary, Taiwan Cement would have a total annual battery capacity of up to 3.2GWh.
E-One Moli is to hire more than 100 engineers and personnel for a research and development facility at the Southern Taiwan Science Park (南部科學園區), Taiwan Cement said, adding that Molie Quantum would focus on developing and perfecting production processes.
This is the group’s latest step in setting itself up as an energy firm, after it purchased Italian energy storage company NHOA SA earlier in the year, Chang said.
The shift also shows that the group is working toward decarbonization and investing in green energy, he added.
“Taiwan Cement has been decarbonizing by using alternative fuels and ingredients to make cement,” Chang said.
“It’s true that the existing process for making cement is carbon-intensive, but cement is also the irreplaceable adhesive of human civilization, without which there is no basic infrastructure,” he added.
The company has pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, and to reach net-zero in its production of ready-mixed concrete by 2050.
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