In Germany, Chinese battery giant CATL has been given the go-ahead from the region of Thuringia’s Minister of the Environment, Anja Siegesmund, to start the new construction of its battery cell plant in Erfurt.
This clears the way for the ground-breaking ceremony which, according to CATL European head Matthias Zentgraf, is to take place before the end of the year. CATL was only waiting for a decision from the Thuringian State Office for the Environment, Mining and Nature Conservation (TLUBN) before they started. According to Zentgraf, the ground-breaking ceremony could have taken place as early as September if the approval had come sooner, but this will be in the fourth quarter of the year. TLUBN President Mario Suckert said at the handover that CATL’s project was ambitious from the very beginning. “An important prerequisite for the speedy approval procedure of my authority was and remains a constant exchange between CATL and TLUBN,” (TLUBN is the German state government of Thuringia).
In July just passed, Zentgraf had already said the ground-breaking ceremony could probably take place in mid or late September. Production was initially planned to start in 2021 with an annual output of 14 GWh. However, the original plans were quickly expanded. Initially, the company’s Chinese headquarters wanted to invest around 240 million euros in the Erfurt plant by 2022. At the end of June, however, the board of directors decided to increase the investments to 1.8 billion euros – by a factor of 7.5. CATL has secured two areas of 35 hectares each in Erfurt, plus 17 hectares for a supplier park.
In the first half of 2019, the Chinese battery manufacturer CATL was able to achieve strong growth in sales and profits compared to the same period of the previous year. The biggest sales driver continues to be business with electric car batteries. Alone last month in Europe, Bosch and CATL agreed on a long-term cooperation for battery cells, Daimler Trucks & Buses and CATL signed a supply agreement for battery cell modules for electric trucks, and Porsche apparently began negotiating a supply contract for battery cells with CATL. The company’s role in the European automobile industry has been steadily growing. Volkswagen and Daimler have signed supply agreements for the I.D. family and the EQ brand. Furthermore, BMW, PSA, and Renault-Nissan are also receiving battery cells from CATL.
handelsblatt.com (in German)
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