European Battery Manufacturing to Grow 20-Fold by 2025



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Europe is on course to raise its capability by 20 days in the next seven decades, hitting 90 gigawatt-hours of producing output each year by 2025.

The figures, by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, reveal Europe gaining ground on Asia, which today accounts for 65% of battery mobile production.

“Several European and Asian battery sellers are expanding in Europe by constructing producing bases in the area,” said Wood Mackenzie energy storage adviser Mitalee Gupta.

Leading the charge is Northvolt, the Swedish startup founded by former Tesla execs.

The firm announced it would be constructing a new production center in Gdansk, Poland to build modules according to cells from an facility in Skellefteå, Sweden.

The module-making mill in Poland will employ 100 people and is going to have an initial capacity of 10,000 modules per year. It is expected to come on line in 2019, a year before production at Northvolt’s Swedish cell-making centre.

“Their Swedish plant, now under development, is expected to achieve 32 gigawatt-hours of producing capability by 2023,” Gupta mentioned. 

The Polish facility, meanwhile, can benefit “fulfill the increased requirement for whole battery alternatives in the European marketplace,” said Northvolt in a media release

It will be operated as a partnership between Northvolt along with South Bay Solutions, a firm specializing in battery modules. 

Last month, Northvolt said it’d be joining forces using auto giant BMW Group and recycling tech specialist Umicore to establish a closed loop for batteries, feeding substances by end-of-life products back in the process. 

The consortium may also try to utilize renewable energy to power production,” Northvolt said.

Last month, the chemicals behemoth BASF introduced plans for a automotive battery production plant in Harjavalta, western Finland, in which the provider is generating substances for the energy storage distribution chain.

The plant is being constructed next to a nickel and cobalt refinery owned by Norilsk Nickel, BASF said, also is part of a €400 million ($456 million) investment plan.

Generation from the battery life is intended to begin in late 2020, together with capacity to provide batteries for around 300,000 EVs each year, BASF said.

Much like Northvolt, BASF is planning to power the Harjavalta plant including wind, hydro and biomass.

Other battery production announcements in Europe comprise BMZ Group’s €120 million ($141 million) investment in a growth of production facilities at its headquarters in Karlstein am Main, Germany, which should lead to the creation of 300 new projects annually. 

And the Chinese lithium-ion battery manufacturer Farasis Energy can be eyeing Europe after raising more than $1 billion in finance in September. The firm, which has two factories in China, could be seeking to install in Germany by about 2021, according to media reports. 

Another major Chinese producer, BYD, is also planning cell generation in Europe, Reuters reported in June.

This would be at the top of European production beachheads being set by Contemporary Amperex Technology, LG Chem, Samsung SDI, SK Innovation, GSR Capital, GS Yuasa and Lishen. The scale of lots of these businesses ’ strategies is significant. 

South Korea’s LG Chem plans to make 100,000 EV batteries at a Polish mill due to be finished this year, according to Reuters said. Samsung SDI, meanwhile, aims to open a mill near Budapest this season, which will produce batteries for 50,000 electrical vehicles per year.

A third South Korean firm, SK Innovation, has been reported to have broken ground in March to a battery life in Hungary which will be able to produce 7.5 gigawatt-hours of batteries per year from 2020.

In a setback for European auto production, nevertheless it appeared that a consortium called TerraE, between about 20 companies and research associations, had failed to get off the ground. 

The group had been planning to spend €4 billion dollars ($4.6 billion) in a plant with a production potential of 34 gigawatt-hours per year, due to open in 2028. 

In the long run, however, not one of these consortium members had been prepared to come up with the cash, the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported previous month.


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