CATL starts construction of its first overseas factory in Germany
Thuringia, Germany – A groundbreaking ceremony for the first overseas factory of the world's leading lithium-ion battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) took place on October 18 in Thuringia, a state in east-central Germany, marking the start of construction of the first lithium-ion battery factory in Germany.
"Germany is home to a strong automotive industry and several of CATL's key customers," said Matthias Zentgraf, Co-president Europe CATL, "we believe that the combination of Germany's industrial tradition and CATL's tradition of innovative battery technology will greatly accelerate the electrification of the automotive industry in Europe."CATL has developed win-win partnerships with a slew of European companies in automobile industry including BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler, Volvo, and Bosch.
This intelligent factory is designed and developed to root deeply in Europe and work closely with customers to provide clean and reliable power for electro mobility. After purchased former property from Solarworld, CATL starts a new stage of capacity expansion on 23 ha greenfield to achieve 14GWh production capacity of battery by 2022. Production lines for both battery cells and modules will be finalized in this phase of expansion. To enable the highly efficient production, a comprehensive support team will be developed in Thuringia, including logistics, quality management, operations maintenance and local purchasing and development departments. Experts from CATL's headquarters in the fields of technology, process and management will also come and support in Thuringia for a smooth start-up phase. Since June this year, CATL has been on site with the first employees, and up to 2,000 jobs will be created by 2024/2025.
Local supply chain is another key element of successful production localization. The company will also identify and qualify local suppliers of materials, components, systems and services. This will indirectly create additional jobs and prospects in the region.
"Thuringia is centrally located, enabling us to respond to customer requests in a timely fashion. And the availability of renewable energy, which already reaches almost 40% in the public network of Thuringia, is another important decision criterion." Matthias Zentgraf continues, "and finally, thanks to the support from the Thuringian Ministry of Economic Affairs and the LEG Thüringen, we believe Thuringia's manufacturing and R&D environment will contribute to CATL's development."
Except for bringing cutting-edge lithium-ion battery technologies from China to Germany, CATL will also intensify its cooperation with local R&D institutes and universities, such as MEET, to extend the strong position in the industry.
With CATL's choice of the Arnstadt site, the state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries for electro mobility will be manufactured in the region. This impetus will also help to successfully position Thuringia as a benchmark in the mobility shift with all its facets.
Picture: Thomas Abéback