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European battery contender raises €4.4bn for expansion

ACC’s German factory will go up on a 34ha site in Kaiserslautern housing a former industrial complex (Drone photograph courtesy of ACC)
Automotive Cells Company (ACC), a French firm formed to lead the European battery industry, has secured €4.4bn in credit to fund the construction of three lithium-ion gigafactories in France, Germany, and Italy.

In December, ACC started production for Stellantis at its Billy-Berclau Douvrin Gigafactory in northeastern France.

The company said the deal would pave the way for work to begin on a second facility at Douvrin, followed by a facility in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and a double facility in Termoli on Italy’s Adriatic Coast.

ACC is backed by car-makers Stellantis (45%) and Mercedes-Benz (30%), as well as energy company Total (25%).

Yann Vincent, ACC’s chief executive, said: “The transition to the electrification of vehicles is still on the way. To meet this immense challenge, our customers must be able to rely on robust and reliable European players like ACC, capable of delivering high volumes of competitive batteries with a low carbon dioxide footprint.

“With this world-class financial community supporting us, we see clear evidence of the confidence that is placed in the ACC project.”

The loan was underwritten by a consortium of commercial banks, including BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, ING and Intesa Sanpaolo.

By 2030, ACC hopes to have a production capacity of at least 120GWh. The Termoli plant will have a capacity of 40 GWh, while ACC is working towards upgrading the French and German sites to 40 GWh each.

The current production capacity at Douvrin is set at more than 13 GWh per year and is due to be completed by the end of 2024.

Website Electrive notes that ACC was created by Total and Stellantis in 2020, with Mercedes joining one year later. Apart from the gigafactory in Douvrin, ACC runs an R&D centre in Bruges and an industrial excellence centre in Nersac, in the New Aquitaine region.

The company employs more than 1,500 people in France, Germany, and Italy. It also has received support from France, Germany and Italy, as well as the EU.

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