SINGAPORE (April 1): Keppel Corporation, through its wholly-owned subsidiary KepVenture, is investing US$50 million ($67.7 million) for a minority stake in Envision AESC Group.

Envision AESC Group is an intelligent lithium-ion battery company which is 80:20 owned by China’s Envision AESC Holding and Japanese automobile manufacturer Nissan. It recently acquired Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), a former venture between Nissan Motor Company and Blackstone-owned NEC Group. It also wholly owns NEC Energy Devices, a battery electrode manufacturing company owned by NEC Corporation.

According to Keppel, Envision AESC Group has a capacity of 7.5GWh and a workforce of 1,400 employees across Japan, the US and the UK – and is in the midst of expanding its production into China, while “engaging various global automakers to grow its customer base”.

In its filing on Monday, Keppel says its co-investment with Envision is in line with the group’s efforts to deploy innovative concepts in its solutions for sustainable urbanisation.

Both Keppel and Envision are working to introduce Internet-of-Things (IoT) enabled storage devices that can help smart buildings and smart grids to become more energy efficient – while also exploring other potential areas of collaboration to create new solution for smart cities and renewable energy, among others.

“This investment in the electric vehicle (EV) battery businesses is part of our strategy to expand the Keppel Group’s energy solutions with cleaner fuel sources and renewables,” says Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel.

“We are pleased to partner Envision on a platform that will deepen our insights into the fast-growing EV market, and where we can explore opportunities to apply smart energy storage devices to enhance the safety and carbon efficiency of the Keppel Group’s solutions for sustainable urbanisation,” he adds.

Shares in Keppel Corp closed 1.45% higher at $6.31 on Monday.