ZBB enters product development partnership with Lotte

Menomonee Falls-based ZBB Energy Corp. today announced that it has entered into a new product development partnership and expanded license agreement with U.K.-based Lotte Chemical.

ZBB is a developer of renewable energy power platforms and hybrid vehicle control systems.

Under the terms of the strategic partnership announced today, Lotte will acquire an expanded non-exclusive license to sell ZBB’s zinc-bromide continuous flow battery globally, with the exception of the United States and China.

“Since 2011, Lotte Chemical has been a supportive partner in the development of our zinc-bromide battery system, and we are very pleased to extend our relationship,” said Eric C. Apfelbach, president and CEO of ZBB. “We believe Lotte’s research has the ability to achieve lower costs and greater performance from current batteries. In addition, we expect that their sales channels provide an excellent platform to accelerate the broad-scale commercialization of the batteries.”

“The need for distributed, renewable energy and energy storage systems are becoming a greater global priority,” said a senior Lotte representative. “With its first-to-market zinc bromide battery technology, ZBB Energy is the leader within the energy storage space and a great partner to work with in further developing grid applications.”

In addition, ZBB Energy and Lotte entered into a new research development agreement for the next generation 500kWh battery, which has a tenfold increase in storage capabilities to its current ZBB EnerStore 50kWh product.

ZBB said the agreements with Lotte Chemical will provide a “substantial improvement” to its cash flow. With the additional cash flow, ZBB said it expects to have sufficient capital to fund operations through at least fiscal year 2014, and ongoing contributions to the company’s operating capital throughout most of fiscal year 2015.

The deal could provide a boost to ZBB, which reported a net loss of $11.9 million in fiscal 2013, and a net loss of $2.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. In October the company did a one-for-five reverse stock split to avoid de-listing by the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s stock was trading at 78 cents per share this morning.

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