According to German Economics Minister Peter Altmaier, the second European battery cell consortium has now been “put on track” by sending the information to the European Commission. However, his ministry still does not mention the names of those involved.
According to the BMWi, ten German companies, as well as companies and research institutions from another ten European member states, are participating with their projects. Nevertheless, for months, there have been rumours that BMW, BASF, Varta and BMZ, among others, have been involved from Germany. Also known: At a preparatory meeting in September, representatives from France, Poland, Italy, Finland, Belgium, Sweden, Slovakia, Spain and Germany worked on a joint work programme, as well as representatives from 30 companies. The individual projects of the second group of companies have now been sent to the European Commission for pre-notification, according to the Ministry. This was a first informal procedural step which preceded the actual notification procedure.
“I am pleased that within a very short time we have already put the second battery project on track and can present it to the European Commission today,” Altmaier said yesterday, Friday. This was a great success for the site and all European companies involved in the process. “Together, we want to build innovations and value creation networks for a functioning ecosystem for battery production – from the processing of raw materials and battery cells to recycling,” continued the Economics Minister.
The documents for the first major European project for battery cell production were submitted to the European Commission in October. Both projects will be implemented as so-called “Important Projects of Common European Interest” (IPCEI) and involve the cooperation of several European member states. With a view to Germany, projects are planned in numerous federal states – “regions affected by the structural change should also benefit from the funding,” the BMWi points out.
While the second European battery cell consortium appears to be very large, the group of participants in the first major project is probably somewhat more transparent. According to the BMWi, German companies, as well as companies from six other European member states, are participating. It is considered likely that the consortium will include the French carmaker PSA with its German subsidiary Opel and the French battery manufacturer Saft. The timetable alone speaks for it: In mid-September, Altmaier and his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire had given details of the first Franco-German battery cell consortium at a joint press conference. According to Le Maire, the foundation stone for a first pilot plant in the French Nouvelle-Aquitain region is to be laid before the end of this year and two factories for the series production of battery cells will be built in the first half of the coming decade – the first of these from 2022 in France and the second from 2024 in Germany.
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