Sunlight Group’s facility in North Carolina, US. Image: Sunlight Group.
Greece-based battery manufacturer Sunlight Group has received €275 million (US$290 million) in loan financing to expand production and research.
The firm has received the funding in the form of seven-year loans issued by a collection of Greek banks, and goes towards funding Sunlight’s five-year business plan which requires €560 million in total. €125 million is being provided by Eurobank and Alpha Bank and €150m from the National Bank of Greece.
Sunlight will upgrade its current production and assembly lines in its facilities in Xanthi (Greece), Verona (Italy), and North Carolina (US) to produce lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries and energy storage systems.
The company also has plans to develop a lithium-ion battery gigafactory in Europe and conduct R&D into battery recycling, to contribute to the development of Europe’s battery supply chain.
Funds will also support further international growth, partly through M&A, as well as R&D into its lithium-based products via the “European Battery Innovation” (EuBatIn) project. EuBatIn is an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI), a transnational state-funded project launched to increase the competitiveness of European industry. Sunlight’s project gained the special status back in 2020.
According to its website, Sunlight Group’s main products are batteries for motive power (machinery), reserve power and advanced technology applications including submarines and torpedos. By the end of 2021, its annualised production capacity reached 3.6 million motive power cells and 150,000 energy storage cells. Total sales increased 54% in 2021 to €271.9 million, while EBITDA reached €24.1 million, up 25%.
The company recently moved to acquire a German battery distributor, Nonnweiler-Primstal-based A. Müller GmbH, according to a filing dated 31 May on the website of competition watchdog the Bundeskartellamt. A. Müller sells small batteries for applications including a variety of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, camping, backup power and other small stationary storage solutions.
Lampros Bisalas, CEO of Sunlight Group, said: “We are heavily investing across our facilities in Greece, Europe and the US to increase our overall production capacity, as demand for lithium-ion batteries in particular continues to outstrip supply.”
“These additional funds will give us the necessary support to address global challenges to lithium supply, as well as the continued R&D required to make lithium-ion batteries the most energy-efficient, cost-effective, and viable green energy solution on the international market.”