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A123 Systems will provide lithium-ion battery technology for aviation applications

Mid-Continent Instrument Co. said Wednesday that it has signed a distribution and supply agreement with Waltham battery maker A123 Systems Inc. under which Mid-Continent will offer A123’s advanced Nanophosphate lithium-ion battery technology for aviation applications.

With operations in Kansas, Mid-Continent manufactures and repairs aircraft instruments, avionics, and power solutions for the general aviation industry.

A123 supplies batteries to automakers as BMW as well as for the Chevy Spark EV model.

In a statement, Robert Johnson, vice president of the Energy Solutions Group at A123, said, “We expect that Mid-Continent’s extensive aviation expertise and its impressive customer portfolio will enable us to capitalize on the rapidly growing market for advanced lithium-ion battery technology for emergency power supplies, starter batteries, and other aviation applications.’’

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A123 could use a lift. In March, the company said it would spend $55 million to fix a defect in some of the components it produces for car batteries, another setback to a company that recently had millions of dollars in orders canceled by one of its biggest customers.

It was also the second time in about three months that A123 has found a flaw in its automotive batteries, including in the Karma manufactured by Fisker Automotive of Anaheim, Calif. The company’s stock, which peaked above $25 a share in 2009, was trading Wednesday morning at about $1.60 a share.

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