BMZ to triple lithium-ion rechargeable battery production by 2020
The investment, which will focus on the company’s headquarters in Karlstein near Aschaffenburg, Germany, will see the first two buildings begin operation in 2015.
No other European company has had such a major influence on the development of the lithium-ion market in the last two decades as BMZ GmbH. Already at the end of the 90s, as many other competitors were still focussing fully on lead and nickel cadmium batteries, the company’s founder Sven Bauer had already recognised the potential of lithium-ion cells as an energy storage medium.
Since the 1994 BMZ has developed more than 4200 different customer-specific lithium-ion batteries with intelligent system controls for about 1,300 customers worldwide. The company pumped 14 million euros into research and development in 2014.
BMZ has achieved a turnover of about 300 million euros as the largest independent European lithium-ion battery system developer and manufacturer and employs more than 1,200 employees worldwide. The company expects to breach the 500 million euros threshold by 2020.
In order to create the necessary production capacities the company, which also has its own assembly facilities in China, Poland and the USA, wants to continue to invest in the company’s industrial base in Germany in the coming years.
“Apart from the most modern equipment and a well-functioning infrastructure, what a high-tech company like BMZ needs above all, is highly motivated and well-qualified staff. As a manufacturer of especially high-quality and long-lasting rechargeable battery systems, we will continue to expand not only our development, but also our manufacturing activities in Germany, presumed we find sufficient employees in Germany”, explained Bauer.
Several demand needs-oriented construction stages are planned for the realisation of the major project, which is worth some 45 million euros and will successively quadruple the area available in Germany in the coming years from the current 12,000 m² to 55,000 m². In the first construction phase, two halls each with an area of around 4,500 m² for production, logistics and office space will be built. Two further halls each 4,500 m² in size with highly flexibly deployable production lines, a new administration building and 1,400 m² of additional laboratory space are to follow by the end of 2020.
“If everything goes according to plan, up to 1,500 BMZ employees in Karlstein alone can then produce up to 80 million lithium-ion batteries of various sizes with a total storage capacity of around 5 GWh annually. We decided on this modular concept because it means we can minimise the investment risks and still react flexibly to future market developments”, added Bauer.
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