January 11th, 2024 | 07:30 CET
Altech Advanced Materials, BYD, JinkoSolar - The Era of Energy Autonomy
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"[...] Internally we expect the resource to significantly grow the deeper we mine. [...]" Dennis Karp, Executive Chairman, Manuka Resources
Altech Advanced Materials - Feasibility study completed
Altech Advanced Materials is a German company that has developed innovative technologies such as Silumina Anodes™ and CERENERGY® ceramic batteries. These technologies aim to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries and provide battery solutions for use in e-mobility and temporary energy storage for renewable energy. On December 20, the Company published the results of the final feasibility study for its Silumina Anodes™ plant in Schwarze Pumpe, Saxony. The plant is expected to produce 8,000 tons of coated silicon for lithium-ion batteries annually. As a drop-in technology, the product is therefore of interest to all battery manufacturers.
Silumina Anodes™ improve battery performance and offer at least 30% higher energy density, a longer service life and greater safety. The technical improvements since the preliminary feasibility study have positively impacted the projected financial figures. The plant, operating at full capacity, has an average annual EBITDA potential of EUR 105 million. The pre-tax net present value (NPV) is EUR 684 million, with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 34% and a capital payback period of 2.4 years. The suitability of Silumina Anodes™ for electromobility has attracted the interest of major car manufacturers and battery material suppliers. The pilot plant is nearing completion, and the first material is expected to be released for qualification in early 2024.
In addition, the CERENERGY® battery, an innovative ceramic solid-state battery specifically for stationary applications, has been developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute. This solution is particularly cost-effective and environmentally friendly. This battery is ideal for storing energy from renewable sources and plays a key role in ensuring grid stability and balancing load peaks. An additional safety feature is its non-flammability, which makes it safe for use in various environments. The share has come under some pressure following a capital increase but is trading above the issue price of the new shares at EUR 8.30.
BYD - Tesla overtaken
BYD sold more cars than Tesla in the fourth quarter. While the Chinese company sold around 526,000 vehicles, Tesla sold only 485,000. Tesla was long regarded as the undisputed leader in electromobility, but BYD has become a serious competitor. However, the majority of BYD's sales are still generated in China. The Chinese car manufacturer has its sights set on internationalization. The Company wants to build its own production facilities in Mexico and Hungary, partly to avoid possible punitive tariffs.
BYD also wants to sell electric vehicles in Indonesia starting next week. This will benefit from tax incentives for the import of electric vehicles. The prerequisite is that the car manufacturers also plan to build electric vehicle plants in the country. BYD can, therefore, further expand its sales. After 340,178 vehicles were sold in December, the Group was also able to achieve its annual target of 3 million electric vehicles sold. Sales abroad were more than three times as high as in 2022 compared to the previous December.
One of the reasons for this growth lies in BYD's original business - batteries. They are one of the most expensive components of an EV, and the in-house production and development lead of the Blade batteries saves the Group considerable sums of money that other car manufacturers have to invest first. In addition, BYD also sells its blade batteries to competitors. The Group also produces its own chips, so the Company is well positioned in the problematic areas. The share is lagging behind the good news and is currently trading at EUR 24.16. If the vehicles sell as well abroad as they do in China, this will likely change quickly.
JinkoSolar - Revenue from patent licensing
With the rise of solar energy as the mainstay of a clean, renewable energy future, the world is faced with the task of capturing this energy during the day when too much electricity is being produced so that it can be used when the sun is not shining. This is where energy storage comes into play - the crucial piece of the puzzle. Energy storage systems not only ensure a constant power supply but also increase the efficiency of the entire power grid and promote independence from fossil fuels. For solar module manufacturers such as JinkoSolar, affordable and safe energy storage systems would therefore be another selling point.
So far, the Group has presented good figures despite falling prices for solar modules. This is due, on the one hand, to the sharp rise in demand for solar energy, which has driven up sales, and on the other hand, to the mature N-type solar cells. It is fitting that the Company announced at the beginning of January that it would give one of the world's largest solar module companies the rights to some of its patents for N-type Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contact (TOPCon) technology. In return, JinkoSolar will receive license fees.
At the end of December, the Company received an award for its commitment to sustainability. JinkoSolar was recognized by the Science Based Targets initiative as the first photovoltaic company in the world with approved net-zero targets. **The Group will announce its next figures on January 29. The share has lost 15% of its value since the beginning of the year and is currently trading at USD 31.15. The reason for this is likely the weak results of some other solar companies.
The electrification of the world is in full swing. Renewable energies are being expanded, and more and more electric vehicles are being sold. Both technologies still have considerable room for improvement in terms of innovation. Altech Advanced Materials offers optimizations for both areas. As soon as the pilot plant is up and running, money will be made, and then one should keep an eye on the share. BYD outperformed industry leader Tesla in the last quarter. It remains to be seen how well the internationalization works. With its N-type cells, JinkoSolar has a development lead, which is now being monetized. The license fees will bring additional profits.
Conflict of interest
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