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Samsung SDI, Stellantis to set up $2.5 billion battery plant in US

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South Korean battery maker Samsung SDI said on Wednesday it is investing $1.29 billion in an electric vehicle battery plant to be built in the Indiana state in the US under a joint venture with Stellantis NV.

Samsung SDI will own a 51 per cent stake in the $2.5 billion joint venture company set up with the Chrysler parent, and its investment could increase to as much as $1.57 billion in the long term, it said in a regulatory filing.

Samsung SDI and Stellantis may boost their investment in the project to as much as $3.1 billion, the South Korean company said, reports Yonhap news agency.

The two companies signed a binding agreement in Kokomo, Indiana, on Tuesday (U.S. time) to establish the manufacturing facility in the Midwestern state by 2025, Samsung SDI said in a statement.

The construction will start later this year, with the production operations expected to begin in the first quarter of 2025.

The plant will supply lithium ion battery cells and modules for electric vehicles produced at Stellantis’ assembly lines in North America.

It initially aims to have an annual production capacity of 23 gigawatt hours (GWh) and plans to increase to 33 GWh in the coming years.

Samsung SDI will apply its latest premium technology, launched under the brand name of PRiMX, to produce EV battery cells and modules, it said.

The two companies agreed in October to form a joint venture to build what would be the first US battery cell plant for the South Korean battery maker.

Samsung SDI has foreign operations in China, Hungary, Malaysia and Vietnam, and runs a battery pack assembly line in Michigan.

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WhatsApp working on new software that uses Apple Mac Catalyst

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 Meta-owned WhatsApp is working on a new Mac app that uses the Apple Mac Catalyst development environment to make better use of system resources.

According to AppleInsider, WhatsApp currently provides a web-based Electron app for Mac users in addition to its web app via browsers.

Electron and Catalyst are software development frameworks that help developers create desktop apps.

The new app has been in a closed beta for a few months, but now anyone can download the file on macOS Big Sur or later on the WhatsApp website, according to the report.

Following installation, it will display a QR code that users can scan with their iPhone to link their accounts using the WhatsApp iOS app.

The Mac app’s three-panel interface provides access to archived chats, starred messages, phone calls, and settings.

The Catalyst app includes features not available in the Electron version, such as file drag-and-drop and a spell-checker, the report mentioned.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has reportedly rolled out some new shortcuts for group admins to quickly and easily perform actions for a certain group participant, on iOS.

The new shortcuts simplify interactions with group members as now the platform supports large groups of up to 1,024 participants, reports WABetainfo.

The new update will help group admins quickly manage and communicate with such a large number of participants in private.

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Business

Mumbai: No jumbo block on Western Railway on Sunday

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There will be no jumbo block on Sunday, January 29 over Western Railway’s (WR) Mumbai suburban section, the WR announced today.

Major block to dismantle Gokhale bridge

Earlier last week, the Western Railway had enforced a major 4.5 hour block on the down slow lines from 12.15am to 4.45am on the intervening nights of Jan 19-20 and Jan 20-21 to carry out dismantling work of the Gokhale road overbridge at Andheri.

As a result, a number of local train services were affected.

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Panvel unit of employees of Bank of Maharashtra to join a day strike

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The Panvel unit of employees of the Bank of Maharashtra joined the one-day strike on January 27. All the unions operating in the Bank of Maharashtra have called for a one-day nationwide strike on January 27, 2023, mainly on the issue of adequate recruitment in all the cadres. The bank has eliminated the part-time staff cadre.

In the case of clerks and officers, the bank has not filled vacancies caused by death, retirement, resignations, or promotions, let alone vacancies caused by business growth.

During the last 10 years, banks’ business has grown by 250% while their staff has been reduced by 20%, and thus staff is hard pressed.

According to the union, employees are required to work beyond normal hours on almost all days and report to their duties on their weekly off and holidays. Employees are not able to avail of leave to their credit even for exigencies, and thus they have lost work-life balance.

Due to acute staff shortages, employees are unable to provide efficient customer service, despite their sincere efforts. Employees are working under immense pressure and thus are undergoing physical and mental stress.

The unions have been raising this issue of recruitment individually and collectively, but management is adamant and stubborn; thus, the January 27, 2023, strike has become inevitable.

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