May 14. 2020: German technology group Schmid on May 6 finalized a joint venture with Nusaned Investment, owned by Saudi Arabian chemical manufacturing firm SABIC, to manufacture 3GWh of vanadium redox flow batteries in the kingdom.
Over the next two months, the Riwaq Industrial Development Company will also join the JV, which has been named Everflow.
According to SABIC, the joint venture aims to set up a 3 Gigawatt-scale manufacturing facility in Dammam 3rd Industrial City to produce energy storage systems to pair with utility-scale renewables installations.
The VRFB systems will also provide back-up for telecoms towers, mines, remote cities and off-grid locations, along with grid integration and the establishment of mini grids.
“As per the new energy mix announces this year, Saudi Arabia will aim to install 57.5GW of renewable capacity in the kingdom by 2030,” says SABIC. “Utility-scale energy storage systems will be critical to ensure that the new renewable capacity is stabilized and connected reliably to the grid. The kingdom could also leverage this technology in upcoming mega projects.”
Schmid, which has 1,000 employees around the world, has a foothold in a range of different technologies and chemicals, from PV to automation to laser and plasma technologies, printing and energy storage, in which its main focus is vanadium redox flow batteries.
It has taken a year since the JV was signed and announced in May 2019 for the plant to be awarded all the necessary approvals and satisfy closing conditions. Now the JV has been given the go-ahead, production should begin next year, says SABIC.