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12-07-2018 | Companies + Institutions | News | Article

CATL to Build Battery Cells in Thuringia

Christiane Köllner

CATL will establish its first battery cell plant outside China, in Thuringia, Germany. The production facility in the Erfurt Kreuz industrial park will have a capacity of 14 GWh per year.  

Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) is building its first overseas plant in Thuringia. The new plant will focus on the automated production of lithium-ion batteries and have a planned capacity of 14 GWh. By 2022, CATL intends to invest 240 million euros and create 600 new jobs on a planned 70-hectare factory site in the Erfurter Kreuz industrial park.

"The most important investment in his state for a decade," emphasises Thuringia’s economy minister Wolfgang Tiefensee. The project agreement between CATL and the Free State of Thuringia was signed in Berlin during Sino-German government talks. This is the first time CATL has pioneered production of its vehicle batteries outside China. 

The proximity to the automotive industry is important

The plant in Thuringia is planned as an independent company with production, research and development, as well as logistics. "Building a smart battery plant in Germany is the first step in turning our European investment plan into reality. Building a production facility in Germany will also deepen the collaboration between the European OEMs and CATL," says CATL’s chairman, Dr. Robin Zeng. The decision in favour of Germany was made, in part, to understand local markets and ensure proximity and faster response times to customers.

The Thuringian state government anticipates that the Chinese investment will attract further battery producers and suppliers, as well as make the region a leader in electric vehicle technologies.

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