The battery cell manufacturer SVOLT, which emerged from the Chinese carmaker Great Wall, is expanding its production capacities in China. New factories are planned in Huzhou in China’s Zhejiang province and Suining in Sichuan province, each with annual capacities of 20 GWh.
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For the battery cell factory in Huzhou, SVOLT signed an agreement with the municipal government last week. According to Chinese media, this agreement provides an investment of seven billion yuan (about 895 million euros at the current exchange rate). The annual production capacity is to be the aforementioned 20 GWh.
SVOLT President Yang Xinhong described the signing of the agreement with South Taihu New Area as an “important step for SVOLT’s capacity expansion and realization of its strategic goal.” According to Xinhong, SVLOT aims to reach a production capacity of 200 GWh in 2025.
To this end, an agreement was already signed last month with the municipal government of Suining in Sichuan province. This, too, envisages a plant with an annual output of 20 GWh. Further details on these two plants, such as the type of cell produced there or the planned start of production, are unknown.
In November 2020, SVOLT had also announced plans to build a battery cell factory with a capacity of 24 GWh in Saarland. Cell production is scheduled to start by the end of 2923, and modules and packs are also to be assembled from the battery cells at another site in Saarland. In total, according to the 2020 announcement, the Chinese plan to invest up to two billion euros in the state for the two sites, with up to 2,000 jobs to be created in the final expansion stage.
In January 2021, it was announced that the first cobalt-free lithium-ion cells from SVOLT are available for order. At the cathode, these cells have a higher nickel content. The first of these cells are to be delivered at the end of the second quarter of 2021, and the cells are then to be available in another format in the fourth quarter.
Update 02 March 2021
SVOLT has officially confirmed the construction of the two plants and also given some further dates. In Huzhou, the construction of phase 1 is scheduled to begin in October 2021, with phase 2 set to launch in March 2022. The start of production for the first phase is planned for October 2022. Both phases will comprise six production lines.
No such detailed information is given about the factory in Suining. However, SVOLT gives an overview of the planned capacities in China: In addition to the 20 GWh each in Suining and Huzhou, 18 GWh in Jintan and 40 GWh in the provinces of Hunan and Hubei are firmly planned – currently 98 GWh. Another 90 GWh are still in the evaluation phase – so further announcements are to be expected.
In addition, SVOLT has concluded a financing round of 3.5 billion yuan (about 450 million euros). SVOLT plans to invest the proceeds in expanding production but also in research and development. According to the company’s announcement, the leading financiers of the financing round include BOCGI (Bank of China Group Investment) and SDIC (State Development & Investment Corporation).
Update 23 June 2021
Following the above announcements, SVOLT today said it was planning another factory in China. An agreement signed with the government of the Lishui district of Nanjing city in China’s Jiangsu province provides for the construction of a battery factory with an annual capacity of 14.6 GWh.
Construction will proceed in two phases: The first part, with a capacity of 6.6 GWh, is to go into operation as early as November this year before the factory is subsequently expanded to produce a further 8 GWh.
At the beginning of March, SVOLT had already confirmed the two new factories in Huzhou in the Chinese province of Zhejiang and in Suining in Sichuan province, each with annual capacities of 20 GWh as reported above. Adding the latest news to these, the company would near a total capacity of about 55 GWh around the year 2025.
Update 18 August 2021
SVOLT has started construction of the battery factory announced in February in Huzhou in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang. The total investment is said to be 5.6 billion yuan (about 730 million euros), slightly below the values mentioned in the announcement. However, the current report of the “CN EV Post” only mentions an annual production capacity of 15 GWh – instead of 20 GWh in February.
On the other hand, construction has started a little earlier than announced, as it was supposed to start in October. It is not known whether the production start planned for October 2022 will also move forward. Construction of the second phase is scheduled to start in March 2022; both phases have six production lines each.
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