Techna-X earmarks US$50m for energy storage business expansion in 2022 and 2023

Techna-X earmarks US$50m for energy storage business expansion in 2022 and 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 2): Techna-X Bhd (formerly known as Sino Hua-An International Bhd) announced its expansion roadmap for its energy storage business in a corporate briefing on Thursday.

The technology firm said its acquisition of HK Aerospace Beidou New Energy Industry Ltd, which was renamed Techna Energy Storage Systems (TESS), will be focusing on delivering its products, namely ruthenium metal oxide ultracapacitor, supercapacitor batteries and boosters, mobile and high-end hybrid energy storage systems (HESS), to selected market and customers in China. 

The group shared that it has earmarked US$50 million for TESS’s expansion in 2022 and 2023, the capital expenditure (capex) will be deployed towards expanding its Wuzhou factory’s capacity and automation in specialised equipment (US$15 million), setting up a new factory in Qinzhou excluding land and building costs (US$25 million) and increasing its research and development capabilities (US$10 million).

The group added that TESS, with an outstanding orderbook of US$250 million, currently counts Daikin, KONE, SF Express, Tuatara ATV and China Automobile as its major clients while also pursuing Huawei, SAIC Motor, Baojun and Herrenknecht to become its clients. 

Techna-X also said TESS is currently the only manufacturer of ruthenium ultracapacitor in the world and that its production costs are reduced by more than 50% while performance in energy and power density is higher than its competitor by 30%, and its HESS has a lifetime charging cycle that is up to 100 times higher (20 years operations) than the typical 5,000 to 500,000 cycles.

“In terms of our capacity, we are able to produce 500,000 pieces [of ruthenium ultracapacitors] at our Wuzhou plant, 250,000 pieces of supercapacitor batteries [and boosters] but one element we are looking to solve is our lithium batteries which are currently sourced from our strategic partner and our capacity for HESS production is 100,000 units a month for small systems [for 10kW], 10,000 units a month for mid-sized systems [for 100kW] and 10 units for large systems [for above 500kW].

“You can see that the market size that we are going after is moving very fast. What we have today, we can’t even fulfil 30% of the total demand requirement, that is why we are pushing for the expansion plan which was delayed due to the pandemic. We are in the midst of ordering high-end automation which will arrive later,” said Techna-X’s chief data scientist and chief technology office Dr Wan M Hasni.

Meanwhile, the company also noted TESS is also working with PowerChina, Shanghai Urban Construction Group, Dongfeng, Guangxi Guidong Electric Power and Sensorview to test and develop its proof of concept. TESS also said it has a strategic partnership with Croatian-based and Volkswagen Group/Porsche-backed Rimac Automobili. 

Speaking on its previous metallurgy coke business, Techna-X’s executive director Datuk Jared Lim Chi Li said, “We have set aside our coke business as discontinued operations but unfortunately in terms of revenue recognition, we have to continue recognising the losses until the end of this year.”

“When we complete the sale of the coke business within the first half of next year (2022), we will have a write-back of about RM100 million. Concerns of our PN17 status should not be alarming as it is due to our recognition of the losses from the coke business,” Lim said.

“The energy storage segment is a very big part of our business, from smart mobility to developing a powertrain for a low-cost EV which does not exist in the market now and we own the rights and patents to. This is something we expect to have a prototype [for] by the third quarter of 2022.

“What we can say is that our other businesses in the smart city, enterprise mobile applications, IoT, data analytics and telco/broadcast currently have various projects ongoing, some of which we have announced, some of which will be announced in due course. For a normal year in terms of recurring revenue, we should easily expect RM80-100 million from our digital transformation efforts,” he added.

At midday break, Techna-X shares were half sen or 5.56% lower at 8.5 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM164.07 million.

Joyce Goh