Sunlight builds battery gigafactory in Greece

Sunlight builds battery gigafactory in Greece

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Greek battery maker Sunlight is investing an additional €50m at its Xanthi plant to create a battery gigafactory, along with expansion at plants in Verona. Italy and North Carolina, US, for a capacity of 7GWh a year.

€30m will be invested in automation of production of lead-acid batteries, increasing the capacity of the Xanthi plant in Greece from 4GWh to 5.3GWh, the largest output in the world for motive power lead-acid flooded products. €20m will be invested in three automated production lines for lithium-ion battery modules and battery systems, adding 1.7GhW in annualised assembly capacity.

“We’re keen to meet both current and future demands in the off-road mobility and renewable energy storage by scaling up capacity and rendering our Xanthi industrial park a true Gigafactory,” said Lampros Bisalas, CEO of Sunlight.

This is in addition to a €105m investment in the Xanthi plant for the R&D and prototype production line for lithium cells and brings the total investment to €180m. Increased production will be supported by the company’s lead recycling facility, supplying around 60 percent of raw material requirements in lead and reducing demand on natural resources. There will also be further expansion of the assembly plants in Verona, Italy and North Carolina, United States.

The €20m for lithium-ion batteries will also see an assembly line for prototyping and R&D purposes alongside the three production lines for off-road mobility, industrial use, and Energy Storage for renewables. This brings Sunlight’s spendng for 2021-2023 to €180m, with €150m committed to the expansion of lithium production and €30m committed to the respective lead one.

Production is anticipated to begin by Q3 2022 and deliver 1.7GWh in annualised capacity, while additional space has already been reserved with the potential to more than double capacity up to almost 4GWh.

“We are thrilled to announce an additional €50m investment that’s fully aligned with our strategic objective to play a key role in both lead and lithium battery technologies,” said Bisalas. “The investment is already under implementation, and we’re excited for the new, state-of-the art machinery to be installed and further expand our capabilities. We will also continue integrating production to offer our global customers complete and innovative battery systems of the highest quality and safety. And lastly, we are excited to support our increased production output, expanding our new assembly facilities in Italy and the US.”

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