Taiwan joins the gigafactory club


Taiwan's largest cement company, Taiwan Cement Corporation (TCC), is planning to invest NT$10 billion (US$352 million) in the construction of a battery factory in Kaohsiung, the largest city in southern Taiwan.

“The planned capacity is 1.8 GW, equivalent to the volume of long-distance batteries needed for the annual production of 24,000 electric vehicles,” the company stated, adding that the factory will be operated by its storage unit, E-Moli, which already has a storage system factory in Tainan with a capacity of 1.5 GW.

The new facility will produce high-charge-discharge nickel lithium-ion ternary batteries, which the manufacturer described as “super batteries.” “With the development of the super battery, in the future, there might be a chance to break through these conventional connectivity solutions to create infinite possibilities,” affirmed TCC chairman Nelson Chang.

No more details were provided on the battery technology.

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Several gigafactory projects are currently under way in Europe. Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt is planning to build two manufacturing facilities in Sweden and Poland. The company is also planning a 50-50 joint venture with Volkswagen to establish another 16 GWh battery cell factory, in the German state of Lower Saxony. Furthermore, Italian start-up Italvolt wants to build a €4 billion (US$4.75 billion) EV battery manufacturing facility in Italy. The site for the project is currently being identified; the factory’s initial capacity is expected to reach 45 GWh.

Another gigafactory is under construction by U.S. electric car maker Tesla near Berlin, Germany, and another is planned by French battery cell producer Verkor in Rodez, about 150km northeast of Toulouse. Furthermore, SEAT and Iberdrola are planning to build an EV battery manufacturing facility in Barcelona with the support of the Spanish government.

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