Tesla Gigafactory

Tesla Gigafactory

Sumitomo Metal Mining is experiencing a golden era of cathode materials (Lithium Nickel Oxide) production.

The Japanese company will establish another plant in Japan to supply materials for Tesla batteries made by Panasonic. The factory will be built in the disaster-hit town of Fukushima to help reconstruction efforts.

"Sumitomo Metal expects to spend 3 billion to 4 billion yen ($26 million to $35 million) constructing the new plant. Government and municipality subsidies will likely reduce the burden on Sumitomo Metal Mining."

This is probably part of the expansion announced last month worth 15 billion yen ($130 million) total in all plants:

"To cope with this expansion of demand for lithium nickel oxide, SMM decided to increase the capacity of its production facilities for this material at its Isoura Plant in Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture and other locations. The capacity increase is slated for completion in December 2015 at an investment totaling about 15 billion yen.

As a result of this increase SMM’s monthly production capacity for lithium nickel oxide will rise from the current 850 tons to 1,850 tons."

If you look at the numbers, it turns out that Sumitomo will more than double output. This must be the move for Tesla Model X, which just like Tesla Model S will get cells directly from Japan. Tesla Model III will by supplied from Nevada, with the Tesla Gigafactory expected to go on-line in a couple of years.

Source: Nikkei