ENDICOTT, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – The new battery manufacturer on the Huron Campus is seeking to assure Endicott residents that it has taken steps to prevent any environmental pollution from coming out of its facility.
In the wake of decades of air, ground and water contamination by others in Endicott, Imperium 3 New York, or iM3NY, held a tour last week for Endicott Mayor Linda Jackson and members of the local media.
According to Chairman Shailesh Upreti, iM3 uses a primarily dry process for producing its lithium-ion batteries. And for the fluids it uses to treat its thin sheets of metal, it has managed to replace 50 percent of the solvents with water. For the remaining solvents, iM3 has developed a closed loop system in which it captures any of the solvent gas that has evaporated and condenses it back into liquid form for future reuse.
Upreti says the process has financial benefits as well.
“Whatever solvent comes out get captured, gets refined and used back. So, it’s completely cycled which not only helps environmentally that it’s not going into the environment and polluting Mother Nature, but also making sure that we can make products that are affordable,” said Upreti.
Upreti says that of the roughly $180 million that has been invested in iM3’s facility in Endicott, more than $10 million has gone toward environmental safeguards, including the closed loop system and large air purification equipment outside of the factory.
iM3 currently has more than 80 people working in manufacturing the battery prototypes which are currently undergoing the certification process.
“We are producing product, we are shipping those to customers for their validation, their certifications. In a couple of weeks from now, our goal is to now start integrating these commercial agreements with the buyers,” said Upreti.
Upreti says the company is already in negotiations with major automakers to produce batteries for their electric vehicles, as well as defense contractors who are making electric vessels for the Navy. He says the long-range goal is to scale up from the current 1-gigawatt hour operation to 38 gigawatts.
Upreti says that will likely require iM3 to acquire additional manufacturing space beyond what is available on the Huron Campus.