Exyte builds dry room in PowerCo battery factory Salzgitter

Stuttgart-based plant engineering company Exyte has received an order from Volkswagen to build the dry room for the group's first battery cell gigafactory in Salzgitter. The dry room is known to be the heart of cell production.

Image: Volkswagen

Exyte says it is responsible for the planning, procurement, construction and commissioning of the dry room, which will cover an area the size of five football pitches. To produce battery cells of high and, above all, consistent quality, a clean and dry environment is needed, which must be strictly monitored and controlled. Humidity and particle contamination – workers’ breath can be enough to alter room humidity – must be kept to a minimum.

At the moment, it is only an order for the PowerCo factory in Salzgitter. But the VW Group plans six of these 40-GWh factories in Europe, like in Sagunt near Valencia. Further orders for Exyte could thus follow – the Stuttgart-based company sees great potential in projects for the planning and constructing gigafactories for battery cells, including dry rooms. Experts reckon up to 150 gigafactories could be built worldwide in the coming years. In Europe alone, 30 gigafactories are currently being planned.

“Receiving this contract is an achievement of strategic relevance for Exyte and demonstrates the trust world-class companies have in our ability to deliver top-tier projects,” says Wolfgang Büchele, CEO of Exyte. The design and construction of battery cell production facilities is a business area that will continue to develop positively, putting Exyte in an ideal position to create more opportunities to grow profitably in the future.”

Exyte was founded in 2018 as a spin-off from M+W Group. That, in turn, goes back to Meissner + Wurst, a company founded in Stuttgart in 1912 that manufactured extraction systems, fans and other equipment. Exyte thus has a long tradition and a lot of experience with the construction of semiconductor factories with similar requirements. According to Exyte, it has also designed and built a “gigafactory with what is currently the largest drying room in Europe.”

“Designing and constructing a large-scale production area that can consistently provide an atmosphere with close to zero per cent relative humidity, among other parameters, is nothing short of an engineering feat and one which Exyte excels at,” says Mark Garvey, President of Exyte’s Global Business Unit Advanced Technology Facilities.

The cornerstone for the battery cell factory in Salzgitter was laid in July 2022. Construction of the machinery and equipment began about a year later. The factory is expected to produce the Volkswagen Group’s unified cell and have an annual capacity of 40 GWh from 2025.



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