Chinese battery cell manufacturer CATL is planning a new production facility in China. Up to 10 billion yuan will be invested in a new plant in Ningde, which is to be completed within two years. CATL also intends to raise another 20 billion yuan (around 2.6 billion euros) to expand its production capacities in existing plants.
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The battery giant deems the investment necessary to meet the requirements for both electric vehicle batteries as well as and stationary energy storage. This is owing to rapidly growing domestic and overseas NEV markets as well as maturing applications in energy storage. CATL will raise the finances itself.
With the investment of 10 billion yuan, a new plant should help CATL to consolidate its leading position in the battery market. The new plant will be built at the company’s headquarters at Cheliwan Pond in Ningde Province.
So far, not much is known about the production capacity of the new plant. However, an indication might be gleaned from the planned factory in Yibin that similarly requires 10 billion yuan for the first phase of building. In this case, the plant should, after the 26-month construction period, provide 15 GWh of annual output, while an output of 30 GWh is planned in a second phase with further investment.
Gasgoo writes with reference to a CATL press release, that the new plant is likely to cover 1,300 mu (866,666 square meters) and is set to be completed within two years. The battery-maker also warned investors of possible losses, citing possible dramatic changes in market climate, relevant industrial policies and ferocious market competition.
In a filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange regarding a private placement of shares, CATL revealed that it also intends to raise 20 billion yuan (about 2.6 billion euros) to expand its production capacity at existing plants in Fujian, Jiangsu and Sichuan. In addition, an unspecified portion of the money will be used to finance a research project on energy storage systems, as well as for generally supplementing working capital.
Update 31 May 2020: In the meantime, CATL has adjusted the scope for the private placement slightly downwards. Instead of 20 billion yuan, the company wants to collect 19.7 billion yuan (around 2.48 instead of 2.6 billion euros) from investors in order to further expand its production.
CATL also announced the extent to which production is to be expanded: A total of 52 GWh of new production capacity is to be built up – almost doubling the current capacity of 53 GWh. Capacity utilization at the plants is said to have been around 90 per cent in the past two years.
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