EaglePicher Technologies has won a $22 million in funding under the Defense Production Act Title III Program ("DPA Title III") for Phase II of the Lithium-Ion Battery for Military Applications (LIMA) project.
The program goal assures the affordable production of critical items deemed essential for national defense, alleviating concerns regarding market volatility and uncertainty within the current international market for Li-Ion. As a leading specialty battery manufacturer with a legacy of supplying US military power needs, EaglePicher is poised to assist the defense industrial base by providing a timely, reliable supply of Li-Ion materials and products.
"This award assures EaglePicher will continue to be the leader in advanced lithium-ion technology for defense applications," noted Randy Moore, President of EaglePicher. "We are delighted to take part in an investment that is critical to our national defense. Currently, the U.S. government relies on lithium-ion cells that are produced outside the U.S. Most of our military's current rechargeable portable power requirements and some critical energy-dependent weapons being developed and fielded for the future use these cells. I applaud the Department of Defense's vision in bringing this capability home to the USA. We are respectfully grateful they have entrusted this critical capability to EaglePicher."
During Phase I, competitors were required to demonstrate electrochemical cell technology capable of exceeding 250 watt-hours per kilogram at an elevated discharge rate. EaglePicher was selected as the sole contractor for Phase II of the LIMA program. This phase of the program provides cost-shared financial assistance to establish a production facility supporting the manufacture of raw materials, cells, and batteries utilizing this newly-developed, high-energy density formulation.
"This is an exciting time for EaglePicher as we continue to expand our lithium ion footprint and product portfolio," noted John Bennett, Vice President and General Manager of EaglePicher's defense business. "This is being viewed by the industry as the next big step in lithium ion battery technology. In addition to the move to more rechargeable batteries for the soldier, micro-grids for forward deployed troops will benefit from this technology."
EaglePicher's new 100,000-plus square-foot facility, required to meet future demand, is currently planned to be constructed as an expansion at our existing facility at the Crossroads Industrial Park in Joplin, Missouri, featuring state-of-the-art equipment and production areas to accommodate the large-scale manufacturing necessary for this effort.
"Our current lithium-ion cell manufacturing focuses on medical and space applications," said Ron Nowlin, Vice President and General Manager of Aerospace at EaglePicher. "In addition to the applications already mentioned, this new capability will also help us better serve both military manned- and unmanned-aircraft applications. The improvements in battery energy density that we have created can truly be an enabling technology and allow for reduction of weight and extension of mission critical applications".