Over €4 billion secured for European battery production
Automotive Cells Company says the €4.4 billion secured is “one of Europe’s largest-ever debt raisings in this industry” to develop four “blocks of production” in addition to the one in operation in Billy-Berclau/Douvrin in France. ACC will reportedly build a second block in Douvrin and plans another in the German town of Kaiserslautern and another in Italy in Termoli.
By 2030, the joint venture of Stellantis, Total, and, since September 2021, Mercedes-Benz will aim for total battery cell capacities of at least 120 GWh. The Termoli plant will have a capacity of 40 GWh, while ACC is working towards upgrading the French and German sites to 40 GWh each to complete the bill.
The current production capacity at Douvrin is set at more than 13 GWh per year and is due to be completed by the end of 2024. With five of these blocks, ACC would have an annual capacity of 65 GWh; thus the previously announced expansion with additional production blocks.
The debt package will contribute to financing these capacities and is fully underwritten by a consortium of commercial banks, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, and supported by Bpifrance, Euler Hermes, and SACE.
Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz and Total subsidiary Saft also participated in a capital increase (of undisclosed value). By the end of March 2024 and with the subsequent capital injection, Stellantis will own 45% of ACC’s shares, Mercedes-Benz 30% and Saft 25%.
Both carmakers behold, this confirmed their “commitment as leading shareholders and customers of ACC’s battery modules”. Saft will continue working with ACC as a long-term shareholder and for technological know-how.
Commenting on the loan, Yann Vincent, CEO of ACC, said this was “clear evidence of the confidence that is placed in the ACC project. Beyond this operation, we will determine our needs as and when we conclude additional contracts.”
ACC was created by Total and Stellantis in 2020, with Mercedes joining one year later. Apart from the Gigafactory in France, ACC also runs an R&D center operational since 2020 in Bruges, near Bordeaux, and an Industrial Excellence Center in Nersac, in the New Aquitaine region. The company employs more than 1,500 people in France, Germany, and Italy. It also has received support from all three states and the European Union.