May 20, 2022: Lead and lithium batteries firm the Sunlight Group announced new members of its senior team and related organizational changes on May 16.
The move followed a May 11 announcement that the group planned to invest €560 million ($580 million) over the next five years to expand international production and R&D for manufacturing lithium ion batteries to improve European supply chains.
Carlo Crosetto (pictured, inset, at Sunlight’s Xanthi plant) has been appointed group CFO and will head Sunlight’s finance and supply chain divisions.
Before joining the group, Crosetto was CFO at building materials supplier and infrastructure company Wienerberger. He is also a former CFO for engineering company Dürr.
Meanwhile, Asier Merelas has been appointed IT and digitalization director. He has previously worked with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.
Two others have joined Sunlight’s R&D division — Dimitri Ottaviano, director of engineering and product development, and Carlo Novarese, director of engineering for lithium cells manufacturing.
Ottaviano previously worked for Sweden’s Northvolt, where he was responsible for developing energy storage systems.
Novarese is a former manager of Comau’s battery cell manufacturing global competence center. He will develop Sunlight’s R&D into lithium cells and their recycling.
Sunlight said it has also created seven ‘general directories’ covering areas such as finance and the supply chain, manufacturing, commercial and product management, to “better serve the group’s robust business plan”.
In terms of new investments, the Greece-based energy storage group said it had earmarked €450 million (about $472 million) to invest in a series of mergers and acquisitions across Europe and North America — aiming to expand its sales and production capacity up to 6.3 million battery cells by the end of 2023 for lithium batteries and energy storage systems.
A further €105 million will go towards supporting the EU’s European Battery Innovation programme, which is backing research and innovation in the battery value chain.
Meanwhile, Sunlight said it would work with universities in Greece to develop a lithium ion battery recycling facility as part of an extension of its existing lead acid recycling plant.
The company said it is also installing a pilot production line for prototype lithium cells in its industrial complex in Xanthi, north-eastern Greece.
The announcements came as Sunlight posted a 52% increase in adjusted Ebitda — earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — for 2021 to €32 million, compared to €21 million in the previous year.
Turnover for 2021 increased by 54% to €272 million. Sunlight attributed the rise to increased sales in meeting renewed demand for motive batteries and energy storage systems as the world starts to recover from consequences of the pandemic.
Sunlight said it had also gained access to new major OEM customers for lithium ion and lead energy storage solutions and expanded its products line.
The latest announcements follow Sunlight’s pledge last September to spend €50 million to expand its lead and lithium manufacturing unit in Xanthi.