German lithium-ion battery supplier BMZ GmbH is quadrupling its R&D and manufacturing capacities as it looks to tackle demand in the next five years.
It is part of a €45million, five-year investment schedule the intelligent battery solutions supplier has entered into as it aims to build 80 million li-ion batteries by 2020.
Work on the first two of a total of six new production, laboratory and office buildings has started at the company’s German HQ – just four years after the current production facilities were completed.
The investment program will quadruple the area from the current 12,000 m² to 55,000 m² and enable the company to produce batteries of various sizes with a total storage capacity of around 5 GWh annually.
In the first construction phase, two 4,500 square metre halls are being built for production, logistics and office space.
Two further similar sized halls with flexible deployable production lines, a new administration building and 1,400 square metres of additional laboratory space are to follow.
Sven Bauer, BMZ general manager, said: “Apart from the most modern equipment and a well-functioning infrastructure, what a high-tech company like BMZ needs above all is highly motivated and well-qualified staff.
“As a manufacturer of especially high-quality and long-lasting rechargeable battery systems, we will continue to expand not only our development, but also our manufacturing activities in Germany, presumed we find sufficient employees in Germany.”
He added: “If everything goes according to plan, up to 1,500 BMZ employees in Karlstein alone can then produce up to 80 million lithium-ion batteries of various sizes with a total storage capacity of around 5 GWh annually. We decided on this modular concept because it means we can minimise the investment risks and still react flexibly to future market developments.”
Founded in 1994, BMZ is currently the largest independent European li-ion battery system developer and manufacturer with more than 1,200 employees worldwide.
In 2014, the company reached a turnover of around €300million, with plans to break the €500million threshold by 2020.
The company, which also owns assembly facilities in China, Poland and the USA, wants to continue to invest heavily in the industrial base in Germany in order to create the necessary production capacities.