1 dead as explosion rocks CATL plant in China

CATL plant in China

One person was killed and six were seriously injured in an explosion at a factory in China belonging to a unit of battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), authorities said on Friday.

The blast happened on Thursday evening in a workshop operated by CATL unit Brunp Recycling Technology in the city of Ningxiang, in the southern province of Hunan, the city government said on its official Weibo account.

A fire also broke out but was brought under control, it said, adding that 14 people suffered minor injuries. All the wounded were taken to hospital, with none in a life-threatening condition.

It was not immediately clear what had caused the blast.

CATL had no immediate comment when contacted by Reuters but the company was reported as saying by National Business Daily that the accident would have a limited impact on production and operations, according to a preliminary assessment.

Daiwa Capital Markets said in a note the affected facility was an old factory with capacity to produce 15,000 tonnes per year of cathode precursors for CATL’s lithium-ion batteries but noted Brunp also had a newer and much larger plant.

CATL’s Shenzhen-traded shares closed down 2.1% on 404.50 yuan ($62.55) on Friday.

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