Verkor secures €1.3 billion for French gigafactory

French battery manufacturer Verkor has secured more than €1.3 billion ($1.41 billion) in green financing for the construction of its first gigafactory in France. The production facility will supply batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and stationary storage across Europe.
Team of Verkor
Image: Verkor

French manufacturer Verkor has secured new support from public and private players, which will help it finalize the construction of its first gigafactory located in Dunkirk, in northern France, with an initial production capacity of 16 GWh per year. 

Verkor has secured more than €1.3 billion in green financing with the support of 16 commercial banks and three public banks, with the European Investment Bank (EIB) alone providing €400 million. This brings the total amount of financing for Vercor’s first gigafactory and innovation center to more than €3 billion.

The site is expected to be operational in 2025 and create around 1,200 direct jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs over the next two years.

“The participation of 19 leading banks demonstrates the credibility of our project, and enables us to accelerate our drive to become one of Europe’s leading battery manufacturers. We are also delighted that this financing takes the form of an unprecedented ‘green loan’,” said Verkor’s CEO Benoit Lemaignan.

Verkor says that it will use the site to produce low-carbon batteries with one of the smallest environmental footprints in the world. As proof of the environmental quality of its project, Verkor has received the “Dark Green” rating from the independent rating agency Standard & Poor’s, the highest possible for a green loan.

The company’s first gigafatory will be located in the so-called “battery valley” in Hauts-de-France. The region has recently become the hotspot of battery manufacturing in the country, after the closure of its mines and most of the steel industry.

Previously, lithium-ion battery makers AESC and ACC had unveiled plans to establish gigafactories in the region. Taiwanese solid-state battery specialist ProLogium has picked Hauts-de-France for its first manufacturing plant abroad, while French sodium-ion battery maker Tiamat has announced the construction of a 5 GWh production plant in the same region.

Mining and metals group Eramet and environmental services group Suez have decided to locate their EV battery recycling plant in Dunkirk, near the border with Belgium, whereas Chinese group XTC and France’s Orano have unveiled plans for the production of cathode material for lithium-ion batteries not far away.

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  • Marija has years of experience in a news agency environment and writing for print and online publications. She took over as the editor of pv magazine Australia in 2018 and helped establish its online presence over a two-year period.


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