CATL has begun construction of its planned battery cell plant in the city of Yibin in the southwest Chinese province of Sichuan. It is expected to produce 15 GWh in the first phase, which is scheduled for completion within 26 months, and 30 GWh per year in the second phase, which will start two years later.
Of the ten billion RMB (1.28 billion euros) mentioned when the plans were presented in September, 4.5 billion RMB (about 580 million euros) are to be invested in the first phase. However, there are still no official details on the type of cell that will be produced in Yibin.
CATL repeated its statements from September, according to which the group wants to expand its presence in the southwest with the new plant in Sichuan and improve the supply of the Chinese OEMs’ car factories there. The agreement with the city government states that Sichuan will become the base for the NEV industry in western China.
The plant in Yibin will thus be built almost parallel to CATL’s European battery cell factory near Erfurt. The ground-breaking ceremony at the Erfurt site took place in mid-October 2019, and production is scheduled to start in early 2022. The initial capacity of 14 GWh is at the level of the Chinese plant, but according to official information, only an expansion to 24 GWh is currently planned in Erfurt.