Metair acquires 35% in Primemotors in Bucharest, Romania

  • Establishes incubation and R&D centre for Li-ion battery development in Romania
  • Enables partnership with the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest on Artificial Intelligence (AI) project with for autonomous driving
  • Aligns with Metair’s strategy to be a leading market player in energy solutions for the full mobility spectrum
  • Builds on successful delivery of first Li-ion electric vehicle conversion

Metair, a leading international manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and automotive components, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Rombat, has acquired 35% in Primemotors (Prime) in Romania to accelerate its production of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for the growing European market.

Metair recently launched a programme to partner with universities and industry agencies for the production and certification of li-ion batteries. The programme was an important move for Metair which historically used available li-ion solutions from upstream suppliers in order to deliver customer specific systems and solutions by adding its own system design and controls. A key programme milestone has already been achieved with Metair successfully delivering its first Li-ion electric vehicle conversion to a OEM in Turkey.

Prime will become Metair’s incubator and research & development centre for Li-ion battery development in Europe. Prime is a specialised hardcore technology company focused on tailor made battery packs and electric drives. The acquisition of Prime will also see the programme partner with the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest on an Artificial Intelligence (AI) project relating to autonomous driving.

Theo Loock, Metair’s Managing Director, commented: “The strategic acquisition of Primemotors in Romania reinforces Metair’s energy storage capabilities across key regions and cements our position at a forefront of the production of lithium-ion batteries when required across the geographic areas where we operate.

“The requirement for increasingly sophisticated energy storage solutions that rely on locally sourced raw materials and production facilities is accelerating as cost effective energy storage becomes a major focus area for many industries. We are increasingly well positioned to take advantage of the global drive towards electric vehicles and renewable sources of energy.”

Prime is an important provider of Lithium battery solutions in Europe and is contributing towards building a clean energy economy with the development of superior Energy Storage Systems. Using the latest battery technology, Prime products are environmentally friendly, maintain high energy density storage capabilities and are highpowered in comparison to existing Lead-Acid battery, Ni-Cd, Ni-MH, and other commercially-available Lithium-ion products.

Through its 35% stake in Prime acquired for EUR 1 million, Metair will continue to utilise internationally recognised Li-ion chemistry solutions and apply specific design and controls for customers. The partnership with the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest also provides the platform for Metair to validate its global solutions on a regular basis and thereby stay at the forefront of technological advancements which will support OEM requirements as the production of electric vehicles accelerates.

“We are looking forward to partner with the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest on their autonomous driving learning through Prime’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) project. Our relationship will also ensure that the testing and validation of our Li-ion technology is undertaken according to strict academically driven standards,” concluded Loock.

In South Africa, Metair partners with the South African Institute for Advanced Materials Chemistry (SAIAMC), located at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), and which is the only pilot scale Li-ion battery cell assembly facility in Africa.

Enquiries:

Instinctif Partners +27 (0)11 447 3030

Gift Dlamini +27 (0)82 608 6587

Frederic Cornet +27 (0)83 307 8286

Notes to Editors:

About Metair:

Metair Investments Ltd (Metair) is a publicly owned company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The group is headquartered in Johannesburg and manages an international portfolio of companies that manufacture, distribute and retail products for its energy storage and automotive component verticals, exporting to approximately 46 countries.

The group’s operations manufacture, assemble, distribute and retail energy storage products and automotive components in Africa, Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and Russia.

Energy storage

The energy storage segment manufactures batteries for automotive, telecoms, utility, mining, retail and materials/products handling sectors. Automotive batteries are mainly supplied to the aftermarket through Metair’s unique aftermarket distribution channels and franchised retail networks, and are supplied to automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Aftermarket products are also exported to approximately 46 destinations across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Turkey. Non-automotive products are mainly sold into sub-Saharan Africa and Turkey.

Metair supplies batteries to all major OEMs in South Africa, Europe, Romania, Turkey and Russia through subsidiaries in Romania (Rombat), Turkey (Mutlu Akü) and South Africa (FNB). Key territories include Romania, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and Slovakia.

Automotive components

Automotive components include original equipment (OE) components used in the assembly of new vehicles by OEMs as well as spare parts and other products used in the automotive aftermarket. These include brake pads, shock absorbers, lights, radiators and air conditioners. The group also produces generic aftermarket products for use in the increasing number of imported vehicles.

For more information on Metair and the group’s subsidiaries please visit the website at: www.metair.co.za

About Primemotors:

Primemotors is a specialised hardcore technology company focused on tailor made battery packs and electric drives. From small beginnings in 2012, Prime has grown to become an important provider of Lithium battery solutions in Europe today. The company is proud to be contributing to the effort to build a clean energy economy with the development of superior Energy Storage Systems (ESSs). Much clean energy technology today is ineffective due to limited energy storage and inhospitable utility policies and availability. Prime pledged to deliver superior battery solutions to its customers that solve their technological and business problems.

Prime not only provides a wide range of battery chemistry solutions, but also electrical solutions such as chargers, Protection Circuit Modules (PCM) and comprehensive power solutions. With exports in different countries around Europe, its customer base grows annually. Using the latest battery technology, Prime products are environmentally friendly, maintain high energy density storage capabilities and are highpowered in comparison to existing Lead-Acid battery, Ni-Cd, Ni-MH, and other commercially-available Lithium-ion products.

Prime’s products are unmatched in applications where high C-rates, long cycle life and high energy density are needed – applications such as EES systems and EV (Electrical Vehicle). Prime products have become an integral part of EV development, which require high power electrical solutions. Prime is committed to its customers and do its utmost to contribute to the building of a clean energy economy.

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