June 7 (Reuters) – Japan’s Itochu Corp (8001.T) said on Wednesday it has jointly established a power storage company with Osaka Gas Co (9532.T) and Tokyo Century Corp (8439.T), as the country’s expansion in renewable energy drives demand for storage capacity.
The joint venture would start construction of large-scale lithium ion storage batteries in Osaka prefecture in the first half of the current fiscal year, to be launched in the fiscal year of 2025, Itochu said in a statement.
Batteries are central to Japan becoming carbon neutral by 2050, as they are critical for storage of renewable energy to smoothen output fluctuations.
The project will have capacity of 23 megawatt hours and output of 11 megawatt, for which Itochu would provide storage batteries and construction, Osaka Gas would trade the power and Tokyo Century would do business management.
Japan is targeting over $24 billion in investments both from the public and private sectors to develop domestic battery production capacity of 150 gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2030, including for electric vehicles, and global production by Japanese companies of 600 GWh.
Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Rashmi Aich
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