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Exclusive Interview Series at 20ABC #2: Mr. Dong Li from Leoch International

Mr. Dong Li is the founder of Leoch International Technology Co., Ltd (Leoch International), whose stock has been listed in Hong Kong since 2010. He is also known as a visiting professor at Shanghai University and Xi'an Polytechnic University. 

 

The company has established 13 battery plants in total: 7 in China including lithium-ion battery plants, lead-acid batteries and lead refineries, 2 in Vietnam, 2 in Malaysia, and 1 in India and Sri Lanka. They also run more than 50 sales offices in total, whose locations are not limited to China, but all over the world such as in the US, UK, Australia, Greece, and Singapore. The company is China's largest exporter of lead-acid batteries, having close relations with Japanese lead-battery manufacturers too. 

 

The global lead battery market is now a $50 billion market. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market with the highest growth rate too, accounting for 65% of the world market at $32.1 billion. Among ASEAN countries, Indonesia has by far the largest market, with almost double the size of Japan. Their batteries are mainly used for telecommunications, SLI, Motive Power etc.

 

 

 

87% of Motive Power is for E-bikes.

 

In contrast to India, where most E-bikes are high-speed, low-speed types are more common in China. In China, lead batteries are chosen for low-speed E-bikes and LiBs for high-speed types. As a result, lead batteries account for 70% of their E-bikes and LiB for 30%. Same as China, the main batteries for E-bikes in India are also lead batteries, showing the same ratio (lead batteries 7 : 3 LiB). The fact is, E-bikes with LiB are expensive. Furthermore, the speed limit on E-bikes in China is also a factor in keeping its lead batteries demand.

 

Lead battery companies currently increasing their production include GS Yuasa in Japan, Johnson Controls in the US, and Amara Raja in India. GS Yuasa is expanding its production and sales network, having acquired Atlas Battery in Pakistan.

 

According to Mr. Dong Li, the lead battery market in China has been sluggish for the past 5 years, due to the further rise of LiB. Whilst the LiB market was $58.6 billion scale in 2021, it is expected that the market will expand and quadruple to $278.3 billion by 2030.

 

Leoch Technology, which set up its LiB factory in 2019, achieves producing 4 GWH/y in cells and 6 GWH/y in packs.

 

The company’s future strategies explained by Mr. Dong Li are as follows.

 

The company is not planning to enter countries with unstable politics or dictatorships in Southeast Asia, nor with informal markets. As for India, although they have made an investment once, it did not go well and therefore the company keeps just one factory there and is not so willing for something further. The barriers include India's unique business practices, which do not allow companies to enter the country for business unless a joint venture etc. 

The company usually makes an investment or business decision based on the GDP. Countries they are currently looking at include China, Southeast Asia and Europe. 

 

(Tanamachi from IRUNIVERSE (L) and Mr. Dong Li from Leoch International (R))

 

Related article: Exclusive Interview Series at 20ABC #1: UAE’s first recycled lead refiner DUBATT

 

*Original Japanese version of this article: 20ABC インタビューその2 Leoch International Dong Li氏

 

 

(IRUNIVERSE Tanamachi, translated by A.C.)

 

 

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