Sep 25, 2020 07:48 PM

Tesla Supplier CATL Signs On to Bring New Energy to Logistics

CATL’s headquarters in Ningde, East China’s Fujian Province.
CATL’s headquarters in Ningde, East China’s Fujian Province.

(Deal Street Asia) — GLP Pte. has signed an agreement with Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL), a Chinese battery provider which supplies firms like Tesla Inc., to create a joint venture (JV) that will deploy new energy to advance sustainability in logistics and transportation, said the companies in a statement on Thursday.

The JV will explore a range of opportunities including creating smart energy systems for commercial properties, providing renewable energy to GLP’s logistics assets, and expanding energy storage capabilities for GLP’s network of rooftop solar panels, according to the statement.

The partnership will leverage GLP’s logistics ecosystem in China and CATL’s expertise in the development and manufacturing of new energy assets and energy storage systems.

The two companies said that they will also bring in an autonomous vehicle firm, a previous investment of GLP, to jointly develop green smart supply chain hubs, and to test green driverless routes and vehicle solutions in logistics management and transportation. They did not name the autonomous vehicle firm.

“Partnering with CATL will extend our asset-as-a-service model to green energy asset management and accelerate the replacement of traditional energy with green energy, bringing the logistics and transportation industry into a new and more green era,” said Ming Mei, co-founder and CEO of GLP. With $89 billion in assets under management (AUM) across its real estate and private equity funds, GLP is a global investment manager and business builder in logistics, real estate, infrastructure, finance and related technologies. The firm operates across Brazil, China, Europe, India, Japan, and the U.S.

The new entity represents the latest effort made by the Singapore-based logistics provider to expand its footprint in the Chinese market, where the development of warehousing and logistics has been accelerated by the country’s burgeoning e-commerce market.

In April 2020, GLP had closed its GLP China Income Fund I with an investment firepower of about 15 billion yuan ($2.1 billion), as the firm saw “exceptionally strong” investor demand for China’s logistics real estate.

Established in 2011 in southeastern China’s Fujian province, CATL is a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, covering the R&D, manufacturing and sales in battery systems for new energy vehicles (NEV) and energy storage systems.

The firm supplies lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries to Tesla and recently signed a partnership with Japan’s Honda Motor Co. Ltd. It also supplies Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG.

Robin Zeng, founder, chairman and CEO of CATL, said that the partnership is “highly complementary” and will open up new opportunities to develop innovative technologies and catalyze next-generation new energy services and solutions.

CATL had said in a filing on Aug. 11 that it planned to invest around 19 billion yuan ($2.73 billion) to secure key resources and accelerate global expansion.

This story was first published in Deal Street Asia.

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