U.S. American battery manufacturer, Farasis Energy, plans to build an electric car battery production plant in Bitterfeld-Wolfen in Saxony-Anhalt. The battery giant wants to invest more than 600 million euros in the new plant with its newly founded subsidiary, Farasis Energy Europe.
The Saxony-Anhalt Ministry of Economy, Science and Digitalisation announced that Farasis will be producing battery cells as well as modules and packs. The plant that will be located on the former site of Solar Valley in the south-west German town of Bitterfeld-Wolfen. From the end of 2022, the production capacity is to be continuously expanded from an initial 6 to 10 GWh per year for purely electric vehicles. This could be used to equip some 60,000 to 80,000 electric cars.
Farasis Energy Europe GmbH was founded just this year with headquarters in Stuttgart. With this in mind, a team of experienced battery experts have been leading the search for their European factory location since the middle of last year. “We focused on four main groups of decision criteria, with particular emphasis on site quality and environmental protection,” notes Dr Maik Cordes, Head of Business Development at Farasis Europe.
The European head of Farasis Energy, Sebastian Wolf, said that the “Made in Germany” label was a decisive factor in the decision to locate the plant in Bitterfeld-Wolfen. He explained that European automakers were keen to use batteries made in the continent since the vast majority of battery production sites are currently in Asia. Wolf said that he will also be moving to Bitterfeld-Wolfen himself and that the company wants to relocate their European headquarters to Bitterfeld-Wolfen. “We are in contact with all major automobile manufacturers in Europe. And there is also lively interest in our products,” Wolf continued.
In the final expansion phase, the plant will create at least 600 new jobs. Approximately 270 automotive suppliers are located in Saxony-Anhalt and employ 23,000 people. Minister of Economic Affairs for the state, Armin Willingmann said: “It is good that this is continuing and that the industry is looking to the future, and that is unquestionably electromobility”.
Farasis Energy Europe is participating in the expression of interest procedure of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) for a project of common European interest (IPCEI) in the field of battery cell production. This would enable Farasis Energy Europe to benefit from state aid through European Commission regulations.
Founded in California in 2002, the mother company, Farasis, currently employs more than 3,500 people worldwide and operates research centres in the USA and China. The U.S. firm currently has its headquarters in China as well as two manufacturing plants (in Ganzhou and Zhenjiang). This makes Farasis the third largest manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles in China and the world’s second largest supplier of batteries in pouch cell format. Now they want to expand and gain a foothold in the European market.
presse.sachsen-anhalt.de (in German)