Verkor starts construction of battery cell factory in Dunkirk
The plant will be built in the port of Dunkirk and is expected to contribute to the creation of around 1,200 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs. Expanding capacity from an initial 16 GWh to 50 GWh is planned by 2030. In September, Verkor received more than two billion euros in fresh capital, which will be used to construct the battery cell factory in Dunkirk and its research and development activities in Grenoble.
The primary customer for the battery cells will be the Renault Group. The car manufacturer entered into a strategic partnership with Verkor in 2021, converted into a commercial partnership, i.e. a binding supply contract, in April 2023. Together, the companies want to develop and manufacture high-performance batteries for Renault electric cars from the C segment upwards and for Alpine models. According to the announcement from the summer, Renault intends to purchase ten GWh from Verkor from 2026, and then 20 GWh from 2030.
Meanwhile, Verkor’s research and development is based in Grenoble. It is where the Verkor Innovation Centre (VIC) is located, which started operations at the end of June 2023.
“Dunkirk was not chosen by chance. We can feel the creative energy of all the players involved in this project, inspiring us, and pushing us forward! Today marks a decisive step for Verkor, of course, but also for the European energy transition and the reindustrialisation of France” says Benoit Lemaignan, CEO of Verkor.
And the Verkor site will deliver much more than just low-carbon batteries. “The laying of this foundation stone is a concrete expression of our determination to accelerate the decarbonisation of transport by building a resilient and sustainable European battery value chain,” Lemaignan adds.
Dunkirk is thus becoming an ever-larger battery hub. A battery cell factory from ProLogium, a battery recycling plant from Eramet and Suez, and a cathode material plant from XTC and Orano are also being built there – and Envision’s battery factory in Douai, which is currently under construction, is not far away either.