Battery cell manufacturer CATL has announced plans to invest 39 billion yuan (around 5 billion euros) in expanding its production capacities in China. This is to expand production capacity by 130 GWh at three plants.
17 billion yuan (2.15 billion euros) is to be invested in the new plant in Ningde in Fujian province and an additional 12 billion yuan (1.52 billion euros) in the plant in Ritsuyang in Jiangsu province. Another 10 billion yuan (1.26 billion euros) will reportedly be used to expand capacity at the Yibin site in Sichuan province.
Production capacity is expected to increase by a total of 130 GWh with the new investments in CATL’s three Chinese plants, specifically 60 GWh in Ningde, 40 GWh in Ritsuyang and 30 GWh in Yibin. However, these are estimates by Chinese media, not company figures. Globally, CATL plans to expand its battery cell production capacity to 230 GWh this year and to 1,200 GWh in 2025.
The numbers seem realistic, judging by CATL’s previous projects. The existing plant in Yibin is expected to reach 15 GWh and be expanded to 30 GWh in a further stage. If another plant were to be built in Yibin with 15 GWh in the first and 30 GWh in the second expansion stage, this would correspond to the capacities mentioned in the report. Two of these 30 GWh plants could also be built in Ningde.
“In line with the company’s strategic development plan, investment will further improve production capacity to meet the needs of future business development and market expansion.” It will also “improve the company’s long-term and stable development,” CATL reportedly wrote in a regulatory filing.
However, the reports do not specify a time frame for the 130 additional GWh. Previously, CATL typically estimated 26 months for the first phase of expansion. If things remain the same in the current case, the three plants would not begin production until 2023.