Lusatia is increasingly becoming a focal point for battery production, partly due to the establishment of companies such as the Altech Group. The technology manufacturer plans to build two factories for this sector in the Schwarze Pumpe industrial park in southern Brandenburg. According to board member Uwe Ahrens, detailed plans for the plants should be ready by the end of the year. Including all expansion phases, the project involves investments of over one billion euros and 1000 jobs. Once the planning is complete, subsidies, equity and debt capital will be "collected," Ahrens told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, explaining the next steps. Above all, the EU in Brussels with the Green Deal is now being taken at its word. The battery market is emerging now, he said. "By 2030, we have to be there."
With the Green Deal ("Green Deal"), the EU wants to become climate neutral by 2050. The strategy includes measures in various areas such as energy, transport, industry and agriculture.
Satisfied with the support in the states
"In Brussels, they are not as fast as in Brandenburg or in Saxony," stresses Ahrens, who praises the state governments and also the administrations for the "excellent support." Lusatia, he says, is an ideal location in many respects. "There is industrial friendliness here, vacant land, a certain focus has been created here." The Altech executive expects all applications in the approval process to receive positive decisions.
Altech wants to build a plant for more advanced ceramic batteries that do not require materials such as lithium or cobalt in the industrial park on the Brandenburg-Saxony border. To this end, the company has signed an agreement with the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS). The focus is on batteries for the power grid. According to the IKTS, it has a 25 percent stake in the joint venture.
A ceramic tube is the secret
The special feature of the so-called Cerenergy batteries is that they do not contain lithium, cobalt, copper or graphite, the Altech executive explains. According to him, the non-combustible novel solid-state battery essentially consists of a ceramic tube into which common salt is introduced instead of lithium. It will be made, Ahrens said, with materials sourced from the region. Because of the weight and also the volume, the battery is not suitable for use in electromobility, but as an energy storage device.
The second project, a first production plant for e-car batteries is to be launched as in the industrial park on the Brandenburg-Saxony border before the end of this year - initially with an annual output of 100 megawatt hours. The plant, as a pilot project, will produce a new type of material called "Siluma Anodes" that can be used for lithium-ion batteries in electric cars. To do this, they will be coated with ceramics, which should make the battery more powerful and durable.
The energy company Leag is also interested in working with Altech, Ahrens says. Leag's plans to build a gigafactory - a giant energy center of PV and wind turbines on post-mining land - will also use a large system of different batteries, he said. "For sure, ceramic batteries as well, I am firmly convinced."
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