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Eurocell chooses Netherlands over UK for first battery factory

Anglo-Korean battery manufacturer Eurocell has chosen the Netherlands as the location for its first European production site, having previously also considered sites in the UK and Spain. 

The firm says it is now “in advanced discussions” with authorities in the Netherlands, and is progressing towards a goal of reaching full production capacity by 2025, but has yet to define the exact location. It says it will supply both the energy storage and electric mobility sectors across Europe.

The factory will be built in two phases, and Eurocell says the first battery cells will enter production in the first completed section ‘at scale’ by early next year – which it says means it will be in operation “far faster than other gigafactories”.  

The second section, not yet confirmed to be on the same site, will apparently be capable of building upwards of 40 million cells annually by 2025. The firm has yet to confirm any supply partnerships it has formed in any of the sectors it will supply. 

Eurocell’s establishment of a facility in the Netherlands will come as a blow to UK industry, given that the firm says the announcement represents an investment of $800 million (£661m) at this stage, which will climb to $2 billion (£1.65m) by 2028. It will also create “hundreds of direct and indirect jobs” at the site and across the supply chain. 

Currently, two other battery start ups are progressing with plans to set up sites in the UK: Britishvolt in Blyth, Northumberland, and the West Midlands Gigafactory at Coventry Airport. Chinese firm Envision AESC, meanwhile, will more than triple the output of its Sunderland site from 2024, in line with the electrification plans of partner firm Nissan, based next-door.

Speaking of the decision to build in the Netherlands, Eurocell’s chief commercial officer Nick Clay said: “In its Climate Policy, the Netherlands outlines its ambition to lead Europe in the fight against global warming with a comprehensive strategy to reduce emissions across industries.”

“With rapid expansion plans in Europe, Eurocell is encouraged by the positive engagement we have had with both the Dutch Government and NOM investment and development agency for the Northern Netherlands over the last few months. 

“As we enter the final stages of discussions, we are confident that we will be able to confirm the exact location of our first European gigafactory in the near future.”

Eurocell says its batteries last “up to 10 times longer” than conventional lithium ion cells and  claims they’re more sustainable, are not as susceptible to extreme temperatures and have “no end-of-life issues.” According to the company, its batteries will “outlive the majority of systems” they support, with a lifespan of over 25 years.

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