In order to build its 34 gigawatt-hour battery factory, Terra E Holding GmbH will choose one of five candidate sites in Germany or a neighboring country next month, said Frankfurt-based Chief Executive Officer Holger Gritzka in an interview.
The former ThyssenKrupp AG manager has won government support for the project, which will break ground in the fourth quarter of 2019 and reach full capacity in 2028, and has helped to assemble a consortium of 17 German companies for the project, he said.
Indications that the German industry is gearing up for a new stage in the energy revolution can be gauged from the formation of the Bottom of Form
battery factory eve as the German industry is considered to be the motor behind the world’s fourth-biggest economy. intermittent flows of wind and solar power on electricity networks can be helped to be stabilized by lithium-ion batteries. And since it is expected that millions of plug-in cars would roll off German production lines by the beginning early next decade, it is hoped that the batteries manufactured will power those cars in the near future.
“We have to be better in process technology than competitors, a constant step ahead,” said Gritzka said. The competitive edge in manufacturing robotics and automated production that Germany possess is the aspect that that Terra E will be counting on to make money, Gritzka added.
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, up from about 103 gigawatt-hours in the second quarter, global battery-making capacity is set to more than double by 2021, reaching 278 gigawatt-hours. And currently controlling the market are Asia electronics makers including South Korea’s LG Ltd. and Samsung SDI Co. And according to the London-based researcher, once it finishes building its $5 billion, 35 gigawatt-hour Gigafactory in Nevada, Tesla will become the world’s No. 2 battery maker.
According to Gritzka, who declined to name companies participating, some of Terra E’s consortium members also may become its clients. The CEO of the company said that upwards of a billion euros before completion would be needed by the project which won 5.2 million euros ($6.2 million) in subsidies from Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research.
Gritzka said that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s endorsement of the company and the government-paid research embedded in Terra’s technology would be the attracting factors that Terra E hopes attract strategic investors as the company seeks strategic partners and investments. For Daimler AG, which produces Mercedes-Benz and Maybach luxury cars, ground for another 500 million-euro plant to assemble lithium-ion energy-storage units was broken by Merkel in May.
Gritzka said that the focus of Terra E will be its batteries on stationary units. Gritzka added that an emerging market for mobile and non-automotive power and storage is aimed to be tapped by the project. The projected faster demand for lithium storage in the next decade is the basis of the bet.
(Adapted from Bloomberg)