Battery producer and recycler SUNLIGHT invests €50m at its manufacturing plant in Xanthi, north-eastern Greece, and assembly plants in Verona, Italy and North Carolina, United States. Battery manufacturing output capacity will increase to 7GWh annually for both lead and lithium-ion products.
The €50m investment covers infrastructure, machinery, and new production-assembly lines for lead and lithium technologies. Development of energy management systems will increase with the use of Big Data analysis, AI and Machine Learning tools.
€30m of the investment will contribute to the expansion of existing infrastructure with automated, state-of-the-art machinery in the battery plant for the production of lead batteries. The Xanthi unit’s capacity will therefore increase from 4GWh to 5.3GWh, making it the largest output in the world for motive power batteries.
SUNLIGHT’s manufacturing plant in Xanthi, northeastern Greece
The remaining €20m will be invested in the production of lithium-ion batteries, with the installation of three highly automated assembly lines that will add 1.7 GWh to SUNLIGHT’s annualised assembly capacity.
“We’re keen to meet both current and future demands in off-road mobility and RES (renewable energy storage), by scaling up capacity and rendering our Xanthi industrial park a true giga-factory,” commented CEO Lampros Bisalas. “The investment is already under implementation, and we’re excited for the new machinery to be installed and expand our capabilities.”
SUNLIGHT sources around 60% of raw materials needed for the production of lead batteries from its recycling facility, significantly reducing demand on natural resources. Batteries are critical to Europe’s plans to decarbonise the economy, applying to renewable and clean energy technologies such as electric and micro-hybrid vehicles, and can be used in renewable energy storage technologies such as wind and solar energy storage. Therefore, increased battery production will contribute to meet the demand for clean energy materials.
Expansion of existing infrastructure includes state-of-the-art machinery
Europe’s lead battery manufacturing sector boosts the EU economy – employing more than 20,000 people across 15 member states, and many more through the value chain. SUNLIGHT’s investment presents an increase in spending and employment needed in Greece and Europe. Since the beginning of the year, the company has added more than 300 people to its workforce, while human resources in the first half of this year increased by more than 23% in comparison to the same period last year.
Read CEO Lampros Bisalas’ blog on why resilience is green.