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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Automotive. The Poles lost the fight to the French for the battery gigafactory

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Taiwan’s ProLogium will build the first foreign battery factory for electric cars in France, Reuters reports. Among the countries that applied for the investment worth several billion euros were Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Poland.

As reported by Reuters, the scales of victory have tipped to the side France thanks to “the lobbying of President Emmanuel Macron, provisions in the agreement favorable to the Taiwanese and competitive energy prices“.

The factory is to be built in the city of Dunkirk on the north coast of the country.

Another investment

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“Europe is largely dependent on batteries produced in Asia, so European leaders are trying to outdo each other in efforts to redirect some of the investment to their countries,” writes Reuters.

This need became even more urgent when they joined the game more actively United States. Last year, a bill was passed in the US introducing numerous tax credits for companies related to the energy transformation.

– Today we are becoming even more competitive with China and the United States. Recent events are not accidental here, he said Emmanuel Macron during a ceremonial meeting with the president of ProLogium Vincent Yang in Dunkirk. The French president also announced that the Chinese group XTC New Energy Materials plans to invest 1.5 billion euros in the construction of an industrial plant producing batteries in the same city together with the French company Orano.

In the background, concerns about the fragility of supply chains

In his commentary published in the British daily Financial Times, Macron wrote that the countries of the European Union are beginning to share French beliefs about the need to increase the continent’s economic autonomy. Concerns about over-dependence on factories located in Asian countries arose after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which revealed the fragility of extensive supply chains.

“We are still open to economic partnership, but we are also starting to try to protect our interests, our independence,” declared the French president in the article.

Batteries from Poland

As indicated by the Polish Alternative Fuels Association (PSPA) in the report “Europe runs on Polish lithium-ion batteries. The potential of the battery sector in Poland and the CEE region”, Poland currently plays a leading role in the battery supply chain, lithium-ion batteries already account for over 2, 4 percent of all Polish exports, and the value of the battery sector has increased 38 times over the last six years – from about PLN 1 billion in 2017 to over PLN 38 billion in 2022.

Leading companies from the battery sector, such as LG Energy Solutions, Northvolt, Umicore, SK Innovation, Capchem, Guotai Huarong, BMZ and Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Poland, are investing in our country.

According to PSPA, in order to strengthen the potential of the battery sector in the countries of the CEE region, including Poland, actions are necessary in three main areas: increasing the national capacity for the necessary raw materials for the production of cells and components for batteries, developing qualified staff and increasing innovation in the chain supplies.

Main photo source: LUDOVIC MARIN/EPA/PAP

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