China Ritar Power Corp., a Chinese manufacturer of lead-acid batteries, announced that its technical and manufacturing complex in Hengyang City, Hunan Province began production of lead plates on July 30, 2008.
Two new lead-acid battery production lines also commenced production at the Hengyang facility on July 30, 2008.
Lead plates comprise approximately 85% of the cost of lead-acid batteries. It is expected that vertically integrating the production of lead plates will provide a 3%-6% improvement in gross margins for the company over the long-term. The estimated initial production capacity for lead plates will be approximately 15,000 tons per year. Within the next three years, lead plate production capacity is expected to reach 45,000 tons per year, which the Company estimates will be sufficient to provide lead plates for approximately 50%-60% of China Ritar's battery production.
The two additional lead-acid battery production lines bring the total number of lines at the Hengyang facility to five and will approximately double the company's lead-acid battery production capacity as compared to 2007 levels. It is expected that over the next three years expansion at the Hengyang facility will increase China Ritar's overall battery production capacity to a level four times that of 2007.
"We are pleased to have again successfully launched additional production lines at our new Hengyang facility," commented Jiada Hu, CEO of China Ritar. "We are particularly excited to begin the manufacturing of lead-plates, which will help us improve our profitability and also will give us more control over our key raw materials and overall production process. The additional lead-acid battery lines will allow us to continue to achieve rapid growth through the end of this year and into next year as we expect demand to continue to be high enough such that we can sell everything we can produce."
China Ritar designs, develops, manufactures and markets environmentally friendly lead-acid batteries with a wide range of capacities and applications, including telecommunications, uninteruptable power source devices, light electric vehicle, and alternative energy production, e.g. solar and wind power. China Ritar sells, markets and services six series and 197 models of Ritar-branded, cadmium-free valve-regulated lead-acid batteries. Its products are sold worldwide with sales in 56 countries including China, India, and numerous markets in Europe and the Americas.