Ovonic Battery Company to Open Battery Facility in China

April 24, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ECD, Troy, MI) has announced the initial stages of a battery project with ECD's Ovonic Battery Company Inc. and Rare Earth High-Tech Co. Ltd. (Inner Mongolia, China). Government approvals have been received and terms of letters of credit have been finalized in connection with the joint venture.

The total value of the equipment, license fees and services supplied by Ovonic Battery to the nickel- and metal-hydride battery projects, is in excess of $100.0 million. Ovonic has started program activities and the joint venture, Rare Earth-Ovonic Metal Hydride Co., will begin construction of the China production facility in August 2000.

"We are proud to be developing a whole new industry in China based on Ovonic technology and very pleased that Rare Earth High-Tech has chosen Ovonic Battery as its joint venture partner in this important endeavor," said Stanford R. Ovshinsky, president and CEO of ECD and CEO of Ovonic Battery. "Ovonic Battery's technical expertise and Rare Earth High-Tech's vast mineral resources combine to provide the elements of a truly synergistic partnership."

The project calls for Ovonic Battery to supply production equipment necessary to convert the mineral resources of Rare Earth High-Tech into value-added products.

Ovonic Battery has also licensed advanced NiMH battery technology and will provide technical, engineering and installation services, as well as the manufacturing know-how to produce hydrogen.