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India's First Lithium Ion Cell Production Unit to Use Chinese Tech

© AP Photo / Mahesh Kumar AIndian national flag
Indian national flag - Sputnik International
According to the Indian Cellular Association (ICA), the current consumption of lithium batteries in India is approximately 400 to 450 million per annum. The batteries are mainly imported from China, Japan and South Korea.

New Delhi (Sputnik): India's Munoth Industries Ltd has decided to set up a lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant for the mobile phone industry with the help of Chinese firm BPI based in Shenzhen city. It would be the first lithium-ion production unit in India utilizing Chinese technology.

READ MORE: India Looks to Use Space Research Advances to Make Electric Cars 'Greener'

Jaswant Munoth, the director of Munoth Industries Limited, said on Thursday that the company would invest $120 million in three phases for setting up the plant.

"We have received the technology from BPI, and the Chinese company also helped us in designing the whole plant, identifying the machines and required chemicals, etc." Jaswant Munoth said in New Delhi on Thursday.

The company aims to start supplying batteries for 50 million smartphones by April 2019 and gradually scale up production to 250 million by 2022. The venture is likely to generate employment for 1,700 persons.

"The lithium-ion cell is a core component for the mobile phone industry. As of now, lithium-ion cells are imported and battery packs are assembled in India using imported cells, and with this project of Munoth Industries, we will begin our journey to become a pioneer in this space," Ajay Prakash Sawhney, India's electronics and IT secretary, said after launching the project.

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Many other Indian firms are racing to set up local facilities for lithium-ion battery production, but they will most likely make use of indigenous technologies.

Earlier this week, the Indian government's space research organization ISRO had announced its decision to transfer indigenous technologies for lithium-ion batteries to private firms that would start large-scale production to meet the growing demand of such batteries by industries.

"Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre is now offering to transfer this technology to competent Indian industries/start-ups on a non-exclusive basis to establish Li-ion cell production facilities in the country that can produce cells of varying size, capacity, energy density and power density catering to the entire spectrum of power storage requirements," ISRO said in a statement Tuesday.

READ MORE: India to Fast Track Towards Exclusive Electric Vehicle Regime

Meanwhile, another state-owned research institute, the Central Electro Chemical Research Institute under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), had, on June 9, signed a memorandum of agreement for the transfer of technology of its lithium-ion battery project to a private firm, the Rasi group, for setting up a manufacturing facility in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The Rasi group says it aims to bring down the cost of cell manufacturing below INR 15000 ($222)/- per KW to replace lead-acid batteries.

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