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Indian company to produce thermal batteries from next year

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian company will start producing thermal batteries from May 2019, as the South Asian nation looks to promote the use of electric vehicles and reduce its carbon footprint.

“It should take about six to eight months to complete the plant and we plan to go into commercial production by May 2019,” B V S Prakash, managing director of Bharat Energy Storage Technology (BEST) which is building a factory for the power source in Andhra Pradesh, told Reuters on Monday.

BEST will build high energy density storage devices, which it says last longer than lithium ion batteries and can be used to power electric vehicles and telecom towers.

N Chandrababu Naidu, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh on Monday unveiled the first new high energy storage device.

Prakash said the new factory will cost 6.60 billion rupees ($96.13 million) and create 3,000 jobs in three years.

The plant will initially have an annual capacity of 1000 megawatt and will be ramped up to 10 gigawatts in the next 6-7 years.

Naidu, credited with wooing global giants like Microsoft, Google, IBM and Hewlett-Packard to Hyderbad city, is rebuilding his state into a new industrial hub after it was bifurcated in 2014. Hyderabad now belongs to the newly carved out Telangana state.

Among others, South Korean carmaker Kia Motors Corp has signed a deal to invest about $1.1 billion to build its first factory in India’s Andhra Pradesh.

($1 = 68.6600 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Vyas Mohan