‘World’s largest lead-acid battery output’ planned in Greece


Athens-headquartered battery maker Sunlight has announced a €50 million investment plan, with €30 million of it allocated for the production of lead-acid batteries.

That will give the company “the largest output in the world for motive power lead-acid-flooded products,” said Sunlight, adding the investment would see the lead-acid output capability of its fab in Xanthi, northern Greece, rise from 4 GWh to 5.3 GWh per year.

Sunlight also has a 25,000-tons-per-year recycling plant for lead-acid batteries in Komotini from which it aims to source 60% of its lead-acid material requirements. The business owns battery assembly facilities in Verona, in Italy; and in North Carolina, in the U.S.

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The balance of the €50 million cash injection will go into lithium-ion battery output, with Sunlight describing itself as a lithium-ion supplier on its LinkedIn page. That €20 million is set to fund 1.7 GWh of annual lithium-ion battery assembly capacity, in the form of three “assembly lines for lithium modules and complete lithium battery systems, as well as one assembly line for prototyping and R&D purposes.”

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The raised lithium-ion assembly capacity is expected to enter production before October next year and Sunlight said it has reserved space to more than double its annual output to “almost 4 GWh.”

R&D efforts

The Greek government will provide €49.9 million towards the cost of Sunlight's planned lithium-ion R&D center in Athens – with some likely to come from EU funds – after the European Commission’s directorate-general for competition last year approved the subsidy, under the EU's state aid rules. Sunlight will pay the remaining €55.3 million cost of the facility.

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