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Funding approval notice for battery cell production handed over at Opel’s Kaiserslautern plant – €437 million provided for sustainable battery cell production
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, the Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate Malu Dreyer and the Minister for Economic Affairs of Rhineland-Palatinate Daniela Schmitt handed over a funding approval notice for a large battery cell factory to be built at Opel’s Kaiserslautern plant. The approval notice issued by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will provide €437 million (or 436.8 million euros to be exact) for the ‘Automotive Cell Company (ACC)’ battery project to the joint venture of the same name which brings together international automotive group Stellantis, Opel Automobile GmbH and French battery manufacturer Saft. Rhineland-Palatinate is initially contributing around €51 million, which is included in the total amount of €437 million.
Federal Minister Altmaier said: “We want the most innovative, sustainable and efficient batteries to come from Germany and Europe. The new ACC battery cell manufacturing plant in Kaiserslautern will play a key role in this. The new plant will secure around 2,000 jobs and sustainably produce battery cells for around half a million electric vehicles each year. This is a milestone in the German automotive industry’s transformation towards sustainable drive systems: by producing batteries made in Germany, we will secure value creation and forward-looking jobs.”
Minister-President Malu Dreyer stressed the importance of battery cell manufacturing for Kaiserslautern: “Battery cell manufacturing not only creates forward-looking jobs and training places, it also highlights Kaiserslautern’s enormous innovation potential.” The establishment of the plant is the beginning of a new phase in automotive engineering, she went on to say, pointing out that it will continue the great tradition of the Kaiserslautern plant. “The battery cell manufacturing plant will also send a positive signal for the transformation,” Ms Dreyer said. The switch to electric mobility will undoubtedly be a challenge for the automotive industry, she stated, but one that can be mastered, and the start of battery cell manufacturing in Kaiserslautern will give employees in the industry real prospects for the future. “Battery manufacturing will give the Kaiserslautern manufacturing site an even more diverse profile,” she said with conviction.
“The launch of battery cell manufacturing will add value to Rhineland-Palatinate as an automotive production site and help it become a leader in the field of electric mobility,” Daniela Schmitt, the Minister for Economic Affairs of Rhineland-Palatinate said. “The establishment of the new plant is a key opportunity for us to attract additional companies from this technology field – particularly SMEs – to our region and to build a network of skills in the area of battery storage. Th establishment of the battery cell plant will give a lasting boost to the economic development of the western part of Rhineland-Palatinate,” Schmitt stated.
Yann Vincent, the CEO of ACC, said: “Today marks an important day in the young history of ACC. This sign of confidence by the German authorities confirms our determination to become a leading European developer and manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles and to deliver clean and affordable mobility solutions for all. Our arrangement with the Federal Government reflects this ambition.”
Ralph Wangemann, head of HR and labour director at Opel said: “Today is a good day for Stellantis, for Opel, and for Kaiserslautern as an automotive production site. We are building a real gigafactory for battery cells. The first of a total of three factory blocks with a capacity of eight gigawatts each will be launched in 2023. Production is set to begin in 2025. From its Kaiserslautern plant alone, the Automotive Cell Company joint venture will be able to provide state-of-the-art battery cells for 500,000 vehicles each year, thus making an important contribution to climate change mitigation. We want the best, most efficient and environmentally friendly battery cells for long ranges to be produced here in the Palatinate region, thereby preparing the location for the age of electric mobility.”
The project will see the establishment of a battery cell factory in Kaiserslautern with an initial production capacity of 24 GWh and the creation of 2,000 new jobs in research and development. The companies that form part of the joint venture will invest more than €2 billion for this. The switch towards electric mobility will give the Palatinate plant, which currently specialises in combustion engines and component manufacturing, a long-term perspective. In addition to the Kaiserslautern plant, the ACC joint venture will also set up a battery factory of equal size in Douvrin in the north of France, which will receive funding from the French government under the same Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI).
Since the beginning of 2019, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has been pursuing two major IPCEIs on research and investment in battery cell manufacturing together with the European Commission and eleven other EU Member States. The Ministry is providing a total of €3 billion to promote the development of innovative battery cell production facilities. German companies play a crucial role in both IPCEI consortia. In Germany alone, 15 companies funded under the two IPCEIs will unleash a total of over €13 billion in investments. The projects will lead to the creation of around 10,000 jobs across Germany, fostering new and environmentally friendly value creation models.
All five of the projects that have been approved by the European Commission under the first battery IPCEI have already been launched, and six of a total of eleven from the second IPCEI. Funding approval notices for further German IPCEI projects will be handed over in the coming weeks.
Further information (in German) can be found here.
Press contact for further inquiries
• Dr Beate Baron, press spokesperson for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 0049 30 18615 7667
• Hartmut Höppner, deputy spokesperson for the Rhineland-Palatinate government: Hartmut.Hoeppner@stk.rlp.de, phone: 0049 6131 16 4697
• Nico Schmidt, press spokesperson for Stellantis/Opel: email@example.com, phone: 0049 151 2154 5387