Extremadura will have the first battery cell factory in southern Europe, a project to be installed in the Southwest European Logistics Platform, in Badajoz, with a total area of 177,000 square meters, a planned investment of 400 million euros and the creation of 200 jobs in the first phase and 500 jobs at the time of maximum production.
The presentation of this project took place in Mérida, with the presence of the president of the Junta de Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara; the counselor for the Ecological Transition and Sustainability, Olga García; and the CEO of the promoter company, Phi4tech, Mario Celdrán. Likewise, the referential partner of the business group of the Energy Storage project for Extremadura, Alejandro Ayala; and the Secretary General for Industry and SMEs of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Raúl Blanco Díaz, who joined by videoconference.
The battery cell factory is part of a comprehensive energy storage project that also includes the extraction of lithium at the Las Navas mine, near the town of Cañaveral, next to a lithium transformation factory; nickel extraction at the Aguablanca mine in Monesterio; and the construction in the province of Cáceres of a cathode factory, in a place yet to be determined, with an investment of 200 million euros and the creation of 360 jobs.
The project is the private initiative of Phi4tech (battery and cathode factories), Lithium Iberia (Las Navas mining project and lithium transformation factory) and individual partners in the case of the Aguablanca mine. The project has financing, clients and project.
In addition, to these initiatives must be added the decision to locate the National Energy Storage Center in Cáceres, with which it is intended to collaborate in theoretical and applied research, and the implementation of an engineering postgraduate master’s degree at the University of Extremadura.
Regarding the lithium mining project in Las Navas, the exploitation project and restoration plan as well as the environmental document that respond to all the determinations contained in the scope document are currently being drafted.
The total estimated investment is about 316 million euros (173 million for the lithium transformation factory plus 143 million for the mine and mining plant) with direct employment of 405 people.
Regarding the Aguablanca mine, it is intended to reopen and extract nickel, gold and cobalt. When it is in full swing, about 350 people will be working in Monesterio.
In short, it is an integrating project that is already starting with a global investment of more than 1,000 million euros and 1,300 directs jobs, which indirect ones will have to be added.
More about the battery cell factory
During the presentation, the CEO of Phi4tech, Mario Celdrán, offered some details about the Badajoz battery cell factory. The factory will have a planned final capacity of 10 GW, planned modularly over time in 5 modules of 2 GW.
El módulo inicial de 2 GW se inauguraría un año y medio después de iniciadas las obras, exigirá una inversión de unos 80 millones de euros y creará 200 empleos directos. Las estimaciones son alcanzar los 6 GW de producción en 2024. Cuando se alcance la capacidad máxima (10 GW), se habrán invertido 400 millones de euros en total y unos 500 empleados directos trabajarán en la fábrica, con opción de ampliación a 20 GWh/año en 2027.
Phi4tech’s proposal for its plant in Extremadura is to create a next-generation battery and supercapacitor hybrid. The battery / super capacitor ensures fast charging, high durability and extremely favorable chemistry with the best charge / discharge ratio on the market. It does not contain cobalt, betting on the criteria of sustainability and recyclability aligned with the values promoted by the European Commission.
For the qualification of its employees, Phi4tech is committed to creating an ecosystem of society, university, professional training and administrations, which makes it possible to create value not only economically but also in the training of qualified professionals.
The next step will be to deliver the project plans to the Badajoz City Council to immediately process its urban planning license, and it is estimated that by the end of this year or early 2022 there will already be machines working on the plot, and 20 months later it could be in conditions to inaugurate it, approximately in the middle of 2023.