Keppel acquires stake in EV battery businesses

Source: press release, 1 April 2019

Envision AESC Group Ltd – intelligent lithium-ion battery company
Envision AESC Group Ltd – intelligent lithium-ion battery company (photo: Envision)

Keppel Corporation Limited, through its wholly owned subsidiary KepVenture Pte Ltd (Keppel), has entered into an agreement with Envision AESC to invest USD 50 million for a minority stake in Envision AESC Group Ltd, an intelligent lithium-ion battery company. This co-investment with Envision is in line with Keppel’s efforts to deploy innovative concepts in its solutions for sustainable urbanisation.

Envision AESC Group Ltd recently completed the acquisition of Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), a former venture between Nissan Motor Company (Nissan) and the NEC Group. It has also acquired the entire share capital of NEC Energy Devices, Ltd., a battery electrode manufacturing company owned by NEC Corporation. Envision AESC and Nissan hold approximately 80% and 20% of the shares of the newly established Japanese holding company, Envision AESC Group Ltd., respectively.

Presently, Envision AESC Group Ltd has the capacity of 7.5GWh and a workforce of 1,400 employees across Japan, the US and the UK. Envision AESC Group Ltd is expanding its production into China and is engaging various global automakers to grow its customer base.

Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel Corporation, says, “This investment in the EV battery businesses is part of our strategy to expand the Keppel Group’s energy solutions with cleaner fuel sources and renewables. We are pleased to partner Envision on a platform that will deepen our insights into the fast-growing EV market, and where we can explore opportunities to apply smart energy storage devices to enhance the safety and carbon efficiency of the Keppel Group’s solutions for sustainable urbanisation.”

Lei Zhang, CEO of Envision Group and Executive Chairman of Envision AESC Group, says, “The vision of Envision is to solve the challenges for a sustainable future for mankind. The integration of renewable energy, AI, IoT, and battery technology will accelerate the energy transition from fossil fuels. Envision will redefine the future of batteries through advanced intelligent technology.”

Both Keppel and Envision are working to introduce IoT-enabled storage devices that can help smart buildings and smart grids to become more energy efficient. IoT-enabled batteries can help buildings realise cost savings through accurate monitoring and forecasting of energy consumption and peak shavings. These smart devices can also make grids more efficient by sensing and reporting outages and re-routing power around faults, thereby improving demand flexibility and lowering energy consumption and operating costs.

Apart from IoT-enabled batteries, Keppel and Envision are also exploring other potential areas of collaboration to create new solutions for smart cities, renewable energy, IoT-enabled townships and power generation, among others.

The abovementioned transaction will not have any material impact on the net tangible assets and earnings per share of Keppel Corporation Limited for the financial year ending 31 December 2019.