OXIS Energy and the Minas Gerais Development Company CODEMGE have signed a 15-year lease agreement with Mercedes Benz Brazil (MBB) to take possession of a plant located at the MBB manufacturing site in Juiz de Fora in southeast Brazil to build a Li-sulfur battery manufacturing operation.
NORDIKA Pharmaceutical of Brazil will undertake the design and engineering associated with the plant and machinery layout. Upgrading the site will begin immediately and will involve an investment in excess of US $50 million. The target is to have the fully digitalized plant commissioned and operating by 2023.
Phase 1 will be to lease around 20,000 sq meters to enable the production of 5 million Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) cells per year with the option to extend and double the estate and cell capacity.
This will create hundreds of mainly high-skilled jobs over the next ten years with OXIS having access to the expertise and innovation of students at the reputable universities of Juiz de Fora. Reflecting its collaborative success with universities in the UK and Europe, OXIS is actively seeking collaborations with Brazilian universities.
Within five years, this factory will be a center of excellence producing world-class Lithium-Sulfur cells and battery systems. Exporting worldwide to a range of markets: Aviation, Defense, Heavy Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Light Commercial Vehicles and large Marine Vessels, our aim is to aid the Brazilian Government to eliminate all ICE (internal combustion engine) buses over a period of 25 years, equating to the production of over 4 billion cells. Brazil has the third-largest bus market in the world, with 700,000 ICE buses currently in circulation.—Huw Hampson-Jones, CEO OXIS Energy
OXIS and CODEMGE are already engaged with several Brazilian blue chip companies regarding utilizing its Li-S cells for the electrification of regional aircraft, buses and trucks and are collaborating with Brazilian aircraft manufacturers to build electric aircraft in the country. CODEMGE is also supporting OXIS Energy in its work with numerous US, European and Japanese aircraft producers.
In January 2020, OXIS Energy reported it had successfully tested its cell prototypes at 471 Wh/kg and that it is confident of achieving 500Wh/kg in the next 12 months. (Earlier post.)
Consistently shipping cells at 400 Wh/kg to its clients in Europe, the USA and Japan, OXIS is collaborating with major European chemical partners to develop an advanced lithium metal protection mechanism to ensure a significant improvement in the Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) life cycle.
OXIS has also successfully developed a standard Li-S battery module that saves production time and cost. It is the key building block for customer batteries and can be utilized in electric buses, electric trucks, aircraft and marine vessels.