Bitterfeld-Wolfen is cancelling contract with Farasis


The planned battery cell factory of Daimler partner Farasis Energy in Bitterfeld-Wolfen (Saxony-Anhalt) is probably not going to happen. According to a German media report, Bitterfeld-Wolfen has terminated the urban development contract with Farasis Energy Europe. The company has confirmed the move but the connection has not been completely cut.

Farasis Energy had chosen Bitterfeld-Wolfen as the location for its European battery factory in 2019. According to the announcement at the time, the first battery cells were to be built on-site from the end of 2022, and subsequently, the capacity was to be expanded to up to ten GWh per year.

However, despite all the contracts, Farasis never started building the plant in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. Most recently, there was talk of a possible start of production in 2024. Officially, an update of the localisation strategy in Europe was given as the reason – to our German colleagues at this reasoning was repeated as recently as this February.

According to a newspaper report in Mitteldeutsche Zeitung (MZ), the city of Bitterfeld-Wolfen has now lost patience. The town council’s resolution documents are said to state that the urban development contract with Farasis Energy Europe had been terminated, thus “ensuring a clear file situation”. Farasis told MZ that “the contract was terminated by mutual agreement”.

While Farasis still said in February that in the course of the update it would also be examined how things would continue in Bitterfeld, this process has now apparently been concluded: Farasis now told MZ that “the dynamic market development has led to a shift in priorities, which is why we have postponed the concretisation of our plans for the Bitterfeld-Wolfen site for the time being.”

However, it remains to be seen whether the city will go along with Farasis’ officially postponed plans. The MZ report mentions a certain annoyance on the part of the city. Farasis apparently did not provide “the necessary precise information for further processing of the development plan pushed through by the city itself […] even after repeated requests and warnings from the city of Bitterfeld-Wolfen”. In addition, there was apparently interest from other companies in the still undeveloped areas near the motorway.

As the city administration states, after the termination of the contract with Farasis, the city is now “once again the master of the process”. So the city is once again solely responsible for the development plan. But the big problem is that Farasis still owns the land. Lord Mayor Armin Schenk (CDU) also indicated to the MZ that the connection to Farasis has not been completely cut. “We are continuing to talk,” Schenk said. “It’s a big property owner.”

Incidentally, it is not clear what conclusion Farasis has come to in revising its Europa plans. Whether the European plant will be built at another location or Farasis will supply its customers from its plants in China, like Mercedes-Benz, is currently open. (in German, paywall)


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