Chinese battery maker to enter Africa with $6.4bn Moroccan battery plant

Moroccan car maker NamX recently showed its first hydrogen vehicle to King Mohammed VI (Moroccan Ministry of Industry and Commerce)
Morocco signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday with a Chinese electromotive group that wants to invest $6.4bn in a battery-making complex, website Utilities reports. 

Gotion High-Tech, based in Hefei, specialises in energy storage products. It presently has operations in China, Singapore, Germany, and California, and last year achieved a 122% revenue growth to reach $3.2bn.

It now intends to enter Africa with a gigafactory in Rabat with an annual production capacity of 100GWh, creating around 25,000 jobs.

Mohcine Jazouli, the Moroccan investment minister, said in a press statement that the agreement was a “necessary first step before signing the investment agreement, which will allow the launch of the gigafactory to strengthen the country’s position in the automotive industry”.

He added that Morocco was aiming to collaborate with companies in the renewable energies and electric transport sector, citing the German automaker Volkswagen Group as an example.

For Gotion, the memorandum was signed by Li Zhen, the company’s president. He said his group was looking forward to contributing to the global development of green mobility and praised Morocco’s “enchanting landscapes and inclusive culture”.

The Moroccan automotive sector is one of the strongest in Africa. In 2018, it passed South Africa as the continent’s biggest exporter of passenger cars and last year experienced a 10% growth in production.

The government has put in place many measures to attract foreign investors, such as high-quality infrastructure, engineering training, and tax benefits.

Morocco has pertinent raw materials, including cobalt and phosphates, and free trade agreements with the EU and the US.

In the past year alone, Morocco exported 480,000 vehicles worth $11.1bn to 75 countries, a 33% increase on the previous year.

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