Chinese battery plant to start operations in Portugal by 2025

The company’s executive director said that operations at the future unit will start at the end of 2025 so that the batteries can “leave Sines for Europe the following year to be installed in several European cars, by the end of the first quarter” of 2026, Nuno Gameiro, who represents China Aviation Lithium Battery Technology (CALB) in Portugal, told Lusa. [shutterstock/petrmalinak]

A Chinese manufacturer, Aviation Lithium Battery Technology, wants the battery factory for electric vehicles in Sines to start operating by 2025, a company representative said on Thursday.

The company’s executive director said that operations at the future unit will start at the end of 2025 so that the batteries can “leave Sines for Europe the following year to be installed in several European cars by the end of the first quarter” of 2026, Nuno Gameiro, who represents China Aviation Lithium Battery Technology (CALB) in Portugal, told Lusa.

Gameiro said that the first CALB factory in Europe would be built in several phases, the first involving building the industrial unit on “50 of the 100 hectares” of land. The first phase of investment, the value of which was not announced, “is to accommodate the order portfolio that [the company] already has at this time” in Europe, he said.

According to the official, in a second phase, in 2028, the company planned to expand the facilities, occupying the entire 100 hectares of land, which would allow it to “increase from 15 to 45 gigawatt-hours (GWh).

CALB, he explained, “will start with 15 GWh” due to the “immediate demand it has” but is expected to need “around 100 hectares of land” to “accommodate demand until 2028.”

“If everything is going well, there will be the 3rd phase to double the factory, making it as big as the biggest European [factory], which is Tesla’s, and another 100 hectares would be needed. So it would cover 200 hectares,” he said.

According to Gameiro, the lithium batteries produced in this unit are intended exclusively for the European market. This will “positively impact the GDP [Gross Domestic Product] because all sales are exports. If everything goes as expected, in a horizon year between 2028 and 2030, this factory may represent 4.2% of GDP,” he said.

In a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, CALB said on Wednesday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with a subsidiary of Portugal’s Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade (AICEP).

The agreement with AICEP Global Parques, manager of the Sines Industrial and Logistics Zone (ZILS), provides for the acquisition of “surface rights to set up a world-leading, highly intelligent, computerised and automated factory, with zero carbon emissions,” the company said.

According to the China Automotive Power Battery Industry Innovation Alliance, an industry association, CALB was the third-largest Chinese manufacturer of batteries for electric cars in 2021.

(Lusa.pt)

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