Mežica – TAB, the Mežica-based maker of starter batteries for cars and industrial batteries, has founded joint venture TAB-Haidi with an Asian partner to launch production of lithium-ion cells in Prevalje. According to TAB CEO Bogomir Auprih, the launch is expected in the spring of 2022. The project worth about EUR 100 million is to create 300 jobs.
“We are jumping on the train of green transition with the production of lithium-ion cells, diversifying our operations from lead to this new, modern area,” Auprih told the press today.
According to him, this will be the first production facility for lithium-ion cells in Slovenia. A smaller plant is planned, while about 40 similar and also bigger plants are being built around Europe. “The market is emerging, evolving,” he said.
The production in Prevalje will be set up in a newly built but never used hall that the company purchased from the pharmaceutical company Lek. By the end of March next year, TAB is also to hire 95 of Lek’s employees as the company is expected to stop producing antibiotics in Prevalje in 2022.
Tab-Haidi is to employ about 300 people in the first phase and Auprih has already announced the possibility of expansion of production in Prevalje, or in Macedonia, where TAB produces lead-acid batteries, Italy or Spain.
Tab-Haidi was founded together with the Chinese company Haidi Energy Technology, founded in 2011, which employs some 800 people in four production facilities. TAB holds a 74% stake in the joint venture.
According to TAB, the goal is to create a leading high-tech company focussing on green technologies and sustainability that will provide quality and cost-efficient products to different buyers.
The lithium-ion cells produced in Prevalje are to be used in energy storages in houses and industrial facilities, while TAB is also hoping to penetrate the electric vehicles market.
The Chinese partner will provide the technology, know-how and development, while TAB will finance the production facilities and equipment, provide the working capital and set up the operations of the new company.
Haidi Energy Technology is a leading high-tech producer of lithium-ion batteries in China, specialised in research, development, production and sale of lithium-ion batteries, TAB said.