ProLogium picks northern France for new battery gigafactory

Taiwanese company ProLogium will build a battery “gigafactory” in Dunkirk, northern France, two sources said on Tuesday, as European countries and carmakers seek to lure suppliers of key components for electric vehicles onto their home turf.

The plant, making solid-state batteries, will be ProLogium’s biggest and its second one in the world – the other being in Taiwan. French President Emmanuel Macron is set to travel to Dunkirk on Friday and make a formal announcement, business daily Les Echos reported earlier.

One of the sources said the new factory – the fourth battery plant to be based in the north of France – would involve an investment of 5.2 billion euros ($5.7 billion) through to 2030.

It’s a big bet for our region and we are winning it, with four plants opening starting from 2024,” said the second source, close to the Hauts-de-France region around Dunkirk.

The idea is to create an ecosystem here, from the production to the recycling of batteries,” this source said, adding the ProLogium plant was expected to create 3,000 jobs over time.

Carmakers globally are racing to keep ahead of rivals in producing cleaner vehicles, secure greater control over their supply chain and bring battery plants – an industry dominated by Asian companies – closer to their own manufacturing sites.

Renault last month said it had entered a long-term commercial partnership with French start-up Verkor in Dunkirk to produce batteries for the carmaker’s premium and Alpine electric models.

Also in the north of France, China’s Envision AESC and ACC – a subsidiary of Renault’s domestic rival Stellantis, TotalEnergies and Mercedes – plan to establish their respective battery plants.

The three plants already announced are expected to help create 5,500 jobs.

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