Saft, world leader in the design and manufacture of high-tech batteries for industry, has just inaugurated its brand new advanced technology facility in Zhuhai, China to meet the ever-increasing market demand in Asia.
Commenting on this announcement, Ghislain Lescuyer, Chairman of the Management Board, said: “The opening of this new facility in Zhuhai represents a new milestone in the implementation of our long-term growth strategy in Asia, and illustrates our success and our ambitions in this region. By offering reliable, high-quality products which meet growing structural needs, notably in key markets like smart meters and rail transport, we are wholly fulfilling our role as solutions provider to leading Chinese groups, to whom we have now become a key partner”.
Built in 2006, Saft’s first facility in Zhuhai initially produced primary lithium batteries in different sizes for the metering market in China. Since then it has enlarged its business scope to include the assembly of nickel-based battery systems for the booming Chinese rail market. In 2014, the facility passed an important milestone in its history, reaching the 100 millionth primary lithium battery produced for those highly demanding markets. Even with a production capacity of 30 million lithium batteries per year and several capacity extensions, the facility has found it challenging to meet customer demands in recent years. For this reason, moving quickly to a larger factory became a priority.
“Our production capacity did not allow us to fully meet the market demand in 2015. We decided to move to a bigger facility which allowed us to increase our capacity to catch up with the increasing demand.” said Angel Li, Saft’s General Manager in Zhuhai.
Saft has invested €5 million in the new Zhuhai site in order to double production capacity of primary lithium cells from 30 million to 60 million per year (by Q3 2016). Space has been multiplied by a factor of four from 3,000 m² to 12,000 m². The space dedicated to rail batteries has grown five-fold to 2,000 m² and areas have been reserved for future growth into energy storage and electric vehicle markets.
“Customer service will be enhanced, with greater availability and faster delivery” said Angel Li. “We have already increased capacity of primary lithium cells to 40 million per year. We have a great team, fully skilled and highly dedicated which we can count on to ramp up production to 60 million cells before the end of 2016.”