The government will delay announcement the results of its investigation into the fires at Energy Storage Systems (ESS) over the past three years to 2020 as the local battery industry suffering from a lack of ESS orders.
Industry sources said on Dec. 26 that the Commerce Ministry has officially postponed announcing the results of the second public-private sector investigation. The announcement was originally was scheduled for this month, and was expected to include critical information, such as that battery defects were one cause for the fires. The government had also pondered over whether to include the explanations from battery makers LG Chem and Samsung SDI.
The latest postponement comes as the local battery industry is pulling itself together to take follow-up measures, including preventive ones. The industry also has been suffering from a lack of orders on the eruption of ESS fires.
Other market watchers cited other reasons, such as that the second round of investigation results may not be too different from the first, which discovered defects in battery cells. However, these cells weren’t defective in an artificially-established environment, indicating that the defective batteries could malfunction in more extreme conditions. The only point of difference, therefore, may be that the environment and installment of ESS is just as important as the products themselves.
Some critics say that due to the absence of industry experts, the second round of investigations were unlikely to yield any meaningful results. Mostly lawmakers and their assistants took part.
A total 28 fires occurred at nationwide ESS between August 2017 and October this year. Even after the government investigative body announced the results of its first round of investigations, 5 more fires occurred.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.