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Lowry Welcomes 10 New Jobs At Expanding Thurles Battery Business

Thurles business, Li-Gen Ltd, has set up a Lithium Battery Manufacturing plant at its premises in Ballyduff, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

This plant will be the only one of its kind in Ireland or the UK and will see the creation of 10 new full-time permanent manufacturing jobs with the support of Tipperary Local Enterprise Board. Li-Gen Ltd is a sister company of Hi-Volt Ireland Ltd., who currently employ 26 full-time staff.

Hi-Volt Ireland Ltd., was founded by Richard Gleeson in 1998 and has grown to become a leading battery distributor/retailer with 8 retail branches in Ireland and the UK, selling batteries and related products. Richard has warmly thanked Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry for his support and continued advice in the setting up of the new Li-Gen Ltd., branch of the business.

‘Lead Acid Battery Technology’, has dominated the battery industry for over 150 years. This technology was used widely; from car starter batteries to large Hospital back-up systems; to Electric forklifts.

Lithium battery technology, on the other hand, has only been around for less than 30 Years, but is proving to have many advantages over Lead Acid Technology, primarily as they are environmentally friendly and last up to 10 years. Therefore, they do not need regular replacement, thus cutting down on waste creation. Lithium is also more efficient, can be charged more quickly and therefore consume less energy. It also emits no toxic gasses while charging unlike lead batteries, which require special ventilation.

Li-Gen will use LFP Lithium Chemistry (Lithium Iron Phosphate), which does not contain cobalt. Cobalt is controversially mined primarily in the DR Congo and the extraction process for Cobalt has being plagued by human rights abuses and corruption.

Lithium is up to 95% efficient compared to lead acid which is only 60% efficient. Therefore, while achieving the same like for like power, Lithium is up to 1/3 the weight of Lead Acid batteries
With no manufacturing of Lead Acid Batteries or Lithium on a commercial scale in Ireland, this allows Hi-Volt Ireland Ltd., to replace imports and keep the money in the local economy.

The business has the potential to create highly skilled jobs in a sector that is growing at 30% per year globally and they have already identified major export potential for a European manufactured product.

Li-Gen is involved in this business with Swedish partners Euroglobe Ltd, who are major battery distributors in Europe, particularly in the Nordic region.

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