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C-Tech expects China orders for notebook cell packs to rise in 2020
Aaron Lee, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES

Taiwan-based battery pack maker C-Tech United expects to see orders for notebooks from its China-based partners rise significantly in 2020, while striving to diversify its offerings to include those for electric vehicles (EV).

Chinese battery makers are expected to outstrip South Korean peers in production of notebook battery cells in 2020 as the latter are shifting production focus to EV battery products, according to C-Tech chairman Huang Tsung-wei.

Huang said each notebook requires only 3-4 battery cells but one EV has to use up to 6,000 cells, prompting South Korean makers to focus more on EV battery production.

LG Chem has suspended production of cylindrical and square battery cell for notebooks, shifting the vacated capacity to producing EV batteries to support Tesla's plant in Shanghai, China, according to industry sources.

LG Chem registered the largest shipments of 39.8 million battery cells in the second quarter of 2019, followed by China's Coslight Technology International with 34.2 million, and another Chinese maker Amperex Technology with 29.4 million, with Samsung SDI taking the fourth place, according to Statistics from Techno Systems Research.

Despite its long partnership with LG Chem in notebook battery pack assembly, C-Tech can hardly join its EV battery supply chain, the sources said. But C-Tech has managed to land new orders for notebook battery packs from Chinese battery cell suppliers actively moving to fill the supply gap left by Korean peers, Huang said, adding that orders from Chinese clients may double in 2020 from 2019.

Huang disclosed that C-Tech has also developed battery modules for light EVs, electric bicycles, and other electric carriers, as well as backup battery units (BBUs) for datacenters and energy storage battery systems for 5G base stations, with samples already sent to customers for validation.

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