China’s Tianneng Group seeks new Asian site for lead battery factory

Tianneng Group, one of China’s largest lead acid battery makers, said on March 8 it was considering setting up a factory in another — as yet unspecified — Asian country to produce 100,000 tonnes of lead batteries a year.

Tianneng said it would also expand capacity in China by 20%, according to a Reuters report, in which founder and chairman Zhang Tianren said the company was considering Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan or Bangladesh for the new facility.

Tianneng mostly makes lead batteries for electric scooters and cars.

A decision on location will be made later this year.

It comes just over a year after the firm announced a production expansion of lead acid batteries at its facility in Changxing, China.

Zhang said various Chinese battery firms had already set up offshore locations in southeast Asia. This followed the introduction of a 4% consumption tax on lead acid batteries introduced in January 2016 to curb excess lead acid battery manufacture.

Scott Fink, president of Sorfin Yoshimura, says this was part of a larger trend that he had seen for some time and expected to continue. “There has been a lot of pressure on Chinese manufacturers, with larger companies increasing their global relevance and realizing they need facilities in other areas,” he said.

“The regulations there are less strict, the labour costs are lower.”

Tianneng, which is on Forbes’ “Asia’s 200 Best Under a Billion” list, also recycles lead acid batteries as well as makes lithium batteries.

It is the largest E-bike battery maker in China.