Another day, another battery gigafactory announcement
Lithium Werks, a Dutch energy storage company, is the latest who would like to catch onto the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries and announced a battery gigafactory project.
The idea is to build a new plant in China for €1.6 billion ($1.85 billion). We believe that the majority of the investment will come from partners of Lithium Werks.
The project scale would be just the beginning, as by 2030 company would like to have installed production capacity for 500 GWh annually.
Earlier this year Lithium Werks acquired the original A123 Systems manufacturing plants (for cylindrical cells) located in Changzhou, China. The other acquisition was Valence Technology ("including the customer relationships, global manufacturing, sales and distribution locations along with all of Valence’s Proprietary Lithium Magnesium Iron Phosphate intellectual property (IP), trademarks, and inventory").
€1.6bn investment project kickstarts Lithium Werks’ battery gigafactories vision
Dutch energy storage and battery company Lithium Werks B.V. (www.lithiumwerks.com) and Chinese Zhejiang Jiashan Economic and Technological Development Zone Industry Corporation have signed a framework agreement with the intention to construct a 60 hectares battery gigafactory in the Yangtze river Delta. Total investments required are estimated at €1.6 billion.
The Lithium Werks factory and related facilities will produce battery cells for lithium-ion batteries, enabling the energy transition from fossil fuels to clean energy in order to reduce CO2 emissions.
Lithium Werks expects to have installed production capacity of 500 GWh per annum by 2030 as it continues to contribute to the shift to a carbon neutral world.
“With our Chinese partners’ help, and as we continue to grow both organically and through acquisitions, we will deliver the energy storage solutions that our customers increasingly ask for as the world transitions to clean energy,” said Koolen.
“We need safe, reliable, clean and sustainable energy storage. Batteries are an essential part of the energy transition. They enable us to store wind and solar energy to make it available whenever people need electricity,” said Kees Koolen, chairman of the board, Lithium Werks.
The agreement, which was signed in the presence of the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, marks the start of Lithium Werks’ plan to build multiple gigafactories across the world as part of a 15-to-20-year program that mirrors the long-term business models of the wind and solar industry.
Lithium Werks expects its revenue to exceed $1bn by 2020 as it continues to grow its share of the rapidly expanding market for energy storage.
During the next decade alone, we can expect demand for lithium-ion batteries to grow tenfold.* The battery industry will need to respond by constructing factories to deliver capacity in excess of 10,000 GWh in the next three decades.
“We are grateful and happy to work with our Chinese partners, the first to support our strategy to have a factory in their country. Speed of execution is key as is evidenced by building permit and other regulatory processes in China being completed within 100 days. Other countries and partners are invited to take up the dialogue in order to accelerate the roll out in other locations. We work closely with our customers to meet their specific energy storage requirements and are excited to develop new business relationships.” said Koolen.
Lithium Werks is committed to providing energy storage solutions that make electricity generated from renewable energy available when consumer need it, thus facilitating the global transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.
Lithium Werks is working closely with the regional development organisation Oost NL, which has invested in the company, and with the University of Twente, with which it is developing a research campus that by around 2025 will employ some 2,000 engineers and other experts to focus on energy storage, transport and smart software.
“Significant investments are needed for an actual energy transition. The Chinese government has been working on clean energy plans for some time and their commitment confirms the crucial role that batteries play in this,” said Victor van der Chijs, rector of the University of Twente.
“Lithium Werks, with the University of Twente as a research partner, is an important player with a clear vision for a sustainable world. The University of Twente has been investing in sustainable energy research for years, including research into new materials that enable further innovation in battery technology,” he said.
Marius Prins, CEO, Oost NL said: “These developments show that Lithium Werks can grow into a company that makes an important contribution worldwide to the way we handle energy and energy storage. As the development company, we were among the first to invest in Lithium Werks. We firmly believe that Lithium Werks’ energy research R&D activities will contribute significantly to the strength of East Netherlands’ economy.”
*) Capgemini Research Institute, 2018