Saft has inaugurated a new factory in Bidadi, Bangalore, with its partner, Amalgamations, to meet the growing needs of India’s energy and power sectors.

The new 75,000ft2 factory, which will be operated by the AMCO Saft India subsidiary, will produce nickel-based, rechargeable batteries, effectively doubling Saft’s local production capacity for industrial battery systems. This additional capacity will enable Saft to address the growing demand for energy storage to support mega power plants and photovoltaic (PV) renewable energy schemes, as well as meeting the back-up power needs of defense and oil and gas industry customers.

The Bangalore plant incorporates all the resources required to support the Indian operations of major railway OEMs – from design to manufacturing and commissioning of battery solutions. It positions Saft to benefit from the large investments in the Indian railway market, anticipated for at least the next five years.

This investment focuses on the booming urban transport system (metro) of every city with over three million inhabitants, as well as high speed train projects. The local metro system in Bangalore already features Saft batteries and they are found in metros throughout India including Delhi, Chennai, Jaipur and Mumbai. Saft has also delivered batteries for a number of India’s locomotive projects.

The new Saft plant will provide a hub for the local support of telecom battery solutions by providing maintenance, training and commissioning to meet the booming demand for energy back-up systems linked to the deployment of mobile telecom networks in India.

The new plant will be qualified to manufacture aviation batteries for the Indian Air Force (the world’s fifth largest air force) to complement Saft activities as a major supplier to HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics).

Xavier Delacroix, general manager of Saft’s IBG Division, said, “Our new Bangalore factory is the latest Saft investment in emerging economies where there is high growth. This very significant increase in manufacturing capacity in India will play a crucial role in expanding our business to meet the demand for batteries suitable for high end applications in demanding environments, where performance and reliability are critical.”