A pillar for the future of the green transition is energy storage

The role of energy storage for the future of the green transition and the investments planned by Sunlight Group for the verticalization of production and in lithium batteries were analyzed by the CEO of the company, Mr. Lambros Bisala, who participated in the panel “Investments in Energy: RES & ESS” held in the context of the work of 8u Delphi Economic Forum. Sunlight Group, which specializes in innovative industrial electrification solutions for the intralogistics industry and energy storage systems, has been a member of Olympia Group, the Cyprus-based investment group since 2006. Olympia Group is owned by Folloe Fund, one of the largest private equity funds in Cyprus, which develops in strategic sectors for the Cypriot and European economy, such as energy and the digital economy, and can attract other investors to the market.

During his opening remarks, Mr. Bisalas referred to the rapid growth of Sunlight Group, which today counts more than 3,100 employees worldwide, 15 factories and 5 research centers. He even underlined the company’s goal to continue at the same and even more intense growth rates, constantly strengthening its market shares. Both the acquisitions of the last three years that lead to the geographical expansion and verticalization of the company, as well as its organic growth from the creation and production of applications for industrial electrification and innovative solutions for the storage of energy from renewable sources, contribute significantly to this goal.

Especially for the industrial electrification sector, the first to be electrified with 80% of the forklifts in the global supply chain operating with batteries, Mr. Bissalas highlighted the leadership position of Sunlight Group, noting that “it is a market that is more than 40 years old , where we have 30 years of know-how”. He also mentioned the company’s commitment to play a leading role globally and in the field of energy storage from renewable sources, with an investment of €100 million in a specialized related unit in Kilkis.

At the same time, he noted that Sunlight Group is focusing on the complete verticalization of its production. Having already verticalized the production of lead-acid products, it is investing in the development of lithium cells, having already created a strong R&D team of 200 specialized scientists. Referring to the investment for the construction of the pilot plant for the production of prototype lithium cells at the company’s industrial complex in Xanthi, one of the few in the world and the first in SE Europe, he noted: “The pilot plant is an important investment that is a precursor to the ambitious goal of the company to create the first Gigafactory for the production of lithium cells on Greek soil, a strategic investment that will exceed €1.5 billion. Such emblematic efforts are of national and European importance and need necessary support at the level of procedures and licensing, in order to make it possible their implementation. In order for our country to join a closed club worldwide, namely technology companies that produce lithium cells – and especially in the Western Hemisphere, it is necessary to create a supporting framework of the same logic that is applied in the USA with the Inflation Reduction Act. A comprehensive legislative initiative that has given a tremendous boost to the industry, supporting sustainability, energy transition and security at the same time.”

In closing, Mr. Bissalas spoke about recycling as a philosophy that is in Sunlight Group’s DNA, both socially and at a business level. In this context, he referred to the state-of-the-art lead recycling plant that the company operates in Komotini and currently produces 50,000 tons of recycled lead per year, a quantity that is to be more than doubled with targeted investments exceeding 100,000 tons per year.

Regarding the recycling of lithium batteries, the CEO of Sunlight Group presented the ReLiFe program, a pilot project of Research & Development in which various organizations, institutions and academic partners participate, with the aim of recycling lithium batteries. It is a project that has received European funding of €3.5 million, while the company intends to invest €30 million in equity. Commenting further on the company’s lithium battery recycling efforts, Mr. Bisalas closed his presentation by saying “It is certain for us that within the next three years Sunlight will operate a lithium battery recycling plant. The best possible solution for lithium recycling has not yet been found, but we are in the process of developing the relevant technology as part of the ReLiFe program we are implementing.”

Source: Digital Life! by www.digitallife.gr.

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