Dutch energy storage and battery company Lithium Werks B.V. (www.lithiumwerks.com) has started preliminary work on site to become the first European company to build a battery gigafactory in China.
The plant will consist of a total 60 hectares gigafactory, with an initial annual production capacity of 8GWh.
Construction in Jiashan near Shanghai, in the Yangtze River Delta in one of the most developed regions in China, is set to start in 2019, in partnership with the Jiashan Economic and Technological Development Zone, a national-level development zone.
“Together with our Chinese partners, we will deliver much needed energy storage solutions to facilitate a global transition from fossil fuels to clean energy,” said Kees Koolen, chairman of the board, Lithium Werks during the launch ceremony.
“By partnering with a European company, we reaffirm our global commitment to the reduction of CO2 and other harmful emissions. Together, we believe we could create a sustainable future for all,” said Xiaofan Yu, Director of Administrative Committee of Jiashan Economic and Technological Development Zone.
The Lithium Werks factory and related facilities will produce battery cells and systems for lithium-ion batteries to be used for energy storage and smart grids, as well as for large transportation equipment and industrial applications.
This is in line with a framework agreement that was signed in The Hague, Netherlands in October, in the presence of the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
As batteries are an essential part of the energy transition, Lithium Werks’ plans to build multiple gigafactories across the world. This will be part of a 15-to-20-year program that mirrors the long-term business models of the wind and solar industry.
“As more and more energy is created by wind turbines and solar panels, we’ll need safe, reliable, clean and sustainable energy storage solutions, to ensure electricity is available to people even when there is no wind or sunshine,” said Koolen.
Lithium Werks is expanding quickly, both organically and through acquisitions, as it continues to work to meet a near insatiable demand for batteries. It expects its revenue to exceed $1bn by 2020.
“Demand for lithium-ion batteries is set to grow tenfold over the next decade alone, so our industry must step up to the challenge and construct enough factories to deliver capacity in excess of 10,000 GWh in the next three decades. Lithium Werks aims to provide a substantial contribution in delivering this capacity and become one of the leading companies in this space.” said Koolen.
We work closely with our customers to meet their specific energy storage requirements and are excited to develop new business relationships, and China will play a major role in this strategy.
“China is a leader in battery cell production, so it is natural for us to start here where there is so much expertise, and where the regulatory system and the level of government and local authority support make it possible for us to respond swiftly to our customers’ requests,” said Koolen.
Other countries and partners are invited to take up the dialogue in order to accelerate the rollout of gigafactories in other locations,” said Koolen.