SVOLT IN SAARLAND

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Below we have compiled questions and answers about SVOLT and the two construction projects in Überherrn and Heusweiler. Is your question not covered or do you need more information? Then please do not hesitate to contact us.

All the project partners strongly support transparency and comprehensive information. All information currently available can be found on this website. The project partners are available to answer any further questions you may have. However, the project is still at an early stage, during which further in-depth planning is necessary, and therefore not all details are definite at this time.

Various options to inform and involve citizens are planned during the course of the proceedings. Information about this will follow.

SVOLT is a high-tech company that develops and produces high-quality lithium-ion batteries and battery systems for electric vehicles and energy storage systems. The supplier for electric mobility is headquartered in Jintan District, Changzhou, Jiangsu Province in China, and has been on a Europe-wide search for a production site since October 2019. Frankfurt am Main has been the headquarters of the European subsidiary SVOLT Energy Technology (Europe) GmbH since 2019. Sustainable production processes and a transparent supply chain right up to the mine are very important to SVOLT. In 2025, the company aims to achieve a turnover of three to four billion euros.

SVOLT plans to build up battery cell production capacities of 100 GWh worldwide. Three battery cell plants with an installed total capacity of 76 GWh are planned in the Asia-Pacific region. In Europe, a battery cell plant is planned that will achieve a capacity of 24 GWh in its final expansion stage. European production is to take place in Saarland. From today’s perspective, SVOLT is planning a total investment of up to two billion euros in Europe.

In search for a suitable location, SVOLT examined 32 locations throughout Europe in an intensive selection process between October 2019 and September 2020. Ultimately Saarland was chosen.

As a modern industrial, logistics and innovation location, Saarland offers SVOLT the opportunity to acquire highly qualified employees. It is also characterised by a central location in the heart of the European Economic Area, excellent infrastructure and a thriving environment with internationally successful companies.

The large-scale project will be implemented in close cooperation between SVOLT, the State Ministry of Saarland for Economic Affairs, Labour, Energy and Transport (MWAEV) and Strukturholding Saar GmbH (SHS). With its implementation concept, the MWAEV has actively entered into the settlement talks and was able to convince SVOLT. SVOLT is commissioning SHS with the construction of the two factories as a turnkey project.

SVOLT is planning investments of up to two billion euros in Saarland and intends to create up to 2,000 jobs at the two Saarland sites. SVOLT will also contribute by diversifying the Saarland automotive industry and enable the Saarland to participate in industrial value creation in the field of e-mobility.
Based in Frankfurt am Main, SVOLT Energy Technology (Europe) GmbH is subject to German trade tax. In addition to income from the trade tax, the region will also benefit from positive secondary effects on demand and significant employment opportunities.

Around 400 jobs will be created at the Überherren location by the start of production at the end of 2023.

Around 150 jobs will be created at the Heusweiler location by the start of production in mid-2022.

SVOLT is a global player that develops and builds sustainable products. Likewise, the company sees itself as a long-term fair partner for its customers, employees and local stakeholders. Based in Frankfurt am Main, SVOLT Energy Technology (Europe) GmbH is subject to German trade tax. The trade tax will be divided between Frankfurt am Main, where the European headquarters of SVOLT is currently located, and Heusweiler and Überherrn. It is calculated for each location proportionally according to wage totals.

In addition to income from the trade tax, the region will also benefit from positive secondary effects on infrastructure and significant employment opportunities.

The large-scale project of the partners SVOLT, SHS and MWAEV is divided into two construction projects: In addition to the state-of-the-art cell factory, which will be built on the former “Linslerfeld” location at Überherrn, the project partners are planning realisation of a module and pack factory in the existing “Laminate Park” in the immediate vicinity of the town of Heusweiler. While the infrastructure for the cell factory is a new construction project (greenfield project), the infrastructure of an existing laminate production facility, which has been empty for some time now, will be used for the module and pack factory (brownfield project). Both sites are about 30 kilometres apart.

The “Linslerfeld” site in Überherrn was chosen particularly with regard to area size, availability, infrastructure connection and the optimised transport situation with a direct connection to the supra-regional road network.

In addition to the existing infrastructure already in industrial use and proximity to the premises of the future cell factory in Überherrn, the former “Laminate Park” site in Heusweiler was especially impressive with its good transport connections. The location is directly connected to the B268 and the A8. There is also pedestrian access to the Saar railway station Eiweiler Nord, which will enable employees and customers to conveniently reach the location without a car.

The planned cell factory will be built between the beginning of 2021 and mid-2023 on the “Linslerfeld” site, an approx. 840,000 m2 open space near Überherrn.

The module and pack factory will be realised from the beginning of 2021 on a site 30 km away, the former “Laminate Park” in Heusweiler. This is an existing former laminate production facility that will be retrofitted for SVOLT’s module and pack production. Production is scheduled to start in mid-2022.

A detailed schedule of the project will be available in January 2021 at the earliest.

SHS acts as a partner for the planning and realisation of the project. This consists of two parts: first, construction of a state-of-the-art cell factory as a greenfield project in Überherrn, and second, the revitalisation/preparation of a former laminate production facility in Heusweiler as a module and pack factory as a brownfield development. After commissioning by SVOLT, SHS as the general contractor will build the planned plant in Überherrn as a turnkey project and coordinate implementation of the Heusweiler retrofitting measures.

In addition to development of the site and its infrastructure as well as creation of a construction and use concept, the individual SHS services will also comprise planning and construction of the plant, including project management during the construction phase, rental and management of halls where necessary, including facility management and the provision of investments, whereby it is not possible to state the amount of these investments at this early stage.

The federal state of Saarland established SHS Strukturholding Saar in 1997 in order to be able to make important contributions to the further development of Saarland as a modern economic location and to the creation and preservation of future-proof jobs with a private-sector organisation. Uniquely in Germany, SHS combines economic development tasks with real estate management solutions. The core areas of the state-owned company group are location marketing, economic development as well as the private and commercial real estate industry. It develops complex large-scale public, industrial and tourism projects with its companies.

The State Ministry of Saarland for Economic Affairs as well as SHS initiated the discussions with SVOLT and coordinated them closely in the state government from the very beginning.

The German and state governments have agreed to support the establishment of SVOLT as a structural and political project of state-wide importance with GRW funding (funding for improvement of regional economic structure) and to provide SVOLT with the necessary guarantees.

Sustainable production processes and a transparent supply chain right up to the mine are very important for SVOLT. Both production and the supply chain are set up in accordance with international standards and are regularly audited. Among other things, SVOLT is the first company to bring high nickel cell chemistry without cobalt to mass production readiness. SVOLT also employs an active research and development team that is working on solid-state battery technology.

SVOLT is also working on sustainable concepts and solutions for recycling batteries and battery systems. The aim is to manage natural resources sustainably and responsibly and to ensure a closed resource cycle.

In future all products will be produced in the European factory with 100 percent “green electricity”. At the same time the company is working on further developing its production technologies and processes in order to continuously reduce the consumption of resources and materials. SVOLT is currently also examining the possibility of using electric, carbon-neutral shuttle trucks for transport between the plants.

SVOLT is also working on solutions to continue to reduce its CO2 footprint in production. This applies to production as well as the entire supply chain. Particular attention is being paid here to socially responsible procurement from raw material suppliers and selection of European partners for the needs of its European factories.

The two SVOLT factories in Saarland will be among the most modern and advanced of their kind in the world. Labour law regulations such as occupational safety and employee protection already have the highest priority as early as the planning phase. It is important to SVOLT that the employees at the locations are not only happy but also enthusiastic about working at SVOLT. Therefore, SVOLT will comply with all market, national and regional standards. However, the project is still at a very early stage, therefore not all modalities are finalised yet.

The necessary infrastructure largely already exists in both municipalities. SHS will draw up concrete plans in the coming weeks.
In Überherrn, all traffic will be routed via the B269, thus avoiding traffic through town locations. Use of prefabricated structures means that the construction process can be speeded up and noise emissions reduced.

At both sites, the project partners in all construction phases will endeavour to keep disruptions caused by construction traffic or noise as low as possible. The project partners would also like to connect the cell factory to the public transport network. Possible options are currently being examined in this regard. The same applies to traffic management around the planned factory in Heusweiler. Here it can be expected that, unlike with previous uses, the site traffic link for transport traffic will no longer be via the residential area.

All the project partners strongly support transparency and comprehensive information. All information currently available can be found on this website. The project partners are available to answer any further questions you may have. However, the project is still at an early stage, during which further in-depth planning is necessary, and therefore not all details are definite at this time.

The project partners will continually and transparently provide information about the status of the proceedings. This website will be used for this purpose, among other matters. During the concrete proceedings, the necessary resolutions to obtain building rights will take place in the committees of the municipalities of Heusweiler and Überherrn. As part of the formal development planning process, a wide range of options are available for early involvement of local residents. All objections within the scope of the procedure will be properly considered and answered. Information on the planning and construction measures for the projects and procedures will be available via a corresponding website that is currently being created. This will also provide the possibility of digital public participation. The information will be available after decisions have been made by the municipalities.

Construction projects that require planning permission will have various information and participation options for citizens during the course of proceedings. The framework is established by the formal general development planning procedure, and SHS attaches great importance to engaging in a dialogue with all interested parties as early as possible. For example, advance public participation is planned, where the project will be presented to the public at the draft stage and before the draft decision.

A scoping date will be agreed on with the public authorities (TÖB) as early as possible and the project discussed on site.

This will be organised by the building client, SHS Strukturholding Saar GmbH (SHS). In addition, SHS will also provide the option of a digital exchange of information. In the coming weeks, a website will be developed for this purpose, which will provide extensive information about the two construction projects and the respective procedures.

SHS is currently still in a very early planning phase and will therefore only be able to state dates for information events in the first quarter of 2021.

The “Linslerfeld” site is currently used for agricultural purposes. On the basis of Section 12 of the Federal Building Code, SHS will request the initiation of a project-related development plan in order to obtain planning and building permission. Municipal decisions are needed for this purpose. The land use plan will be adapted as part of development planning (agricultural land will become a commercial area).

SHS is currently still in a very early phase and is developing requirements, framework conditions and basic plans.

Creation of a binding development plan has been agreed on with the municipality of Heusweiler. Based on a preliminary draft that has already been developed, the specific requirements of SVOLT will be incorporated into the framework planning.

Strukturholding Saar GmbH has already examined the area. Based on the results, the possibility of using it for the new SVOLT settlement had to be quickly ruled out. Due to traffic restrictions and necessary costly ecological measures, only about 15 hectares are currently available for commercial development. Moreover, the existing transformer station will have to be maintained on this area in the future. This old stock prevents an integrated land use and leads to spatially separated area layouts, with the largest available individual plot measuring around 9 ha. Furthermore, the dismantling of the power station alone would take years. Whereas SVOLT intends to move into the new halls at the Überherrn site as early as 2023 to start battery cell production in Saarland.

The project partners assume that coronavirus will not influence the planning and construction phase. Compliance with the applicable safety and hygiene measures will be ensured.

The building site in Überherrn is private property and will be purchased. Preliminary talks have already been held and preliminary agreements have been reached. The investor is SVOLT, while the state government is providing support during the purchasing process.

There will be no safety risks for the general public at any time. On the construction site, SHS as the building client will appoint a health and safety coordinator (SiGeKo) in accordance with the applicable construction site regulations. This will ensure construction site safety in both the planning and construction phases. The approval procedure in accordance with the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG) also will ensure that no harmful environmental effects can arise during ongoing operation.

The Federal Building Code also provides for an environmental assessment as part of the general development planning process. In an environmental report, any interventions in nature and the landscape are first identified and if these are determined, intervention, avoidance and compensation arrangements are made. At the present time, it cannot be assumed that the project will have a high negative impact on the climate, landscape and animal life. The “Linslerfeld” is located in a designated Zone 3 water protection area. All conditions in accordance with the Protected Area Regulations will be fully complied with in order to exclude all hazards to the soil.

For both sites, a public transport connection and logistics traffic concept that causes as little pollution as possible is currently being developed. The Heusweiler site is within walking distance of the Saarbahn stop “Eiweiler Nord”. For the planned cell factory near Überherrn various options are currently being examined. E.g., as part of the “Verkehrsentwicklungsplan OVPN” (VEP ÖPNV) a reactivation of the Bisttalbahn with a stop near the planned SVOLT site has already been roughly examined and on this basis has achieved a positive cost-benefit ratio. With the decision of the VEP ÖPNV, there is the possibility to start a detailed feasibility study.

For the logistics between the two locations SVOLT will examine the possibility of establishing an electric CO2-neutral transport. For the Heusweiler site it is expected that, in contrast to previous uses, the site will no longer be connected to the public transport system by the residential local area.

All energy used will be obtained from renewable energy sources. Among other things, an expansion of the PV system already in existence on the Linslerfeld will be necessary and can make a significant contribution. SVOLT is in intensive contact with the owners of the PV system concerning this matter. In addition, innovative energy storage concepts will be investigated to further reduce consumption. Final values will be provided as part of the immission control procedure (as reference: 60,000 kVA for 6 GWh).

Water will mainly be used in preparation of anode and cathode material. The development of innovative dry coating processes will significantly minimise consumption in the future (3,200 t/day for 6 GWh, of which 10 percent waste water).

Last update: 23 November 2020

In principle, SVOLT will be able to purchase electricity in the same way as any other company in Germany. The most important factor is a sufficient grid supply. A requirement that is guaranteed according to the current state of knowledge.

Operating the production sites with green electricity is an essential part of SVOLT’s European strategy. In addition to purchasing green-certified electricity from the German grid, SVOLT will also focus on a direct feed-in concept so that as much electricity as possible directly generated from renewable sources can be used.

To this end, an expansion of the PV system already in existence on the Linslerfeld is being discussed. SVOLT is in contact with the owners of the PV system concerning this matter. In addition, PV systems on the roofs of the factory buildings shall help to cover the energy requirements.

For the supply of electricity at night or on days when solar radiation is insufficient, the company plans to temporarily store the generated electric power in energy storage solutions which SVOLT produces itself.

SVOLT is already working on appropriate scenarios to use energy storage systems and solutions manufactured by SVOLT at the two sites.

The necessary infrastructure largely already exists in both municipalities. Infrastructure planning for the cell factory is currently moving forward, although concrete planning is not yet available as SHS is in a very early phase. In Überherrn, all traffic will be routed via the B269, thus avoiding traffic through town locations. Use of prefabricated structures means that the construction process can be speeded up and noise emissions reduced.

At both sites, the project partners in all construction phases will endeavour to keep disruptions caused by construction traffic or noise as low as possible. The project partners would also like to connect the cell factory to the public transport network. Possible options are currently being examined in this regard. The same applies to traffic management around the planned factory in Heusweiler. Here it can be expected that, unlike with previous uses, the site traffic link for transport traffic will no longer be via the residential area.

As part of the overall area development, it will be necessary to relocate state road L168 north and south of the railway embankment. Furthermore, an alternative routing of state road L279 will be investigated. To that end, experts’ reports on traffic volume are planned as part of the development planning.

There is sufficient distance between the “Linslerfeld” site and the Linslerhof Romantic Hotel, and there is also separation by a railway embankment. Visual impairments and noise disturbances are therefore not to be expected. The establishment of the global company SVOLT at the location will create additional demand for gastronomic offerings as well as accommodation options in the area.

In Europe, SVOLT will focus on the development and production of subsystems such as battery cells and modules as well as their control systems.
Solutions planned for European customers include both battery cells and modules in different cell formats and capacities as well as assembly of high-voltage storage system (pack) solutions.

At the International Motor Show (IAA) in September 2019, SVOLT presented a high-nickel battery cell with cobalt-free cell chemistry for the first time. The nickel manganese battery cell (NMX) completely dispenses with the heavy metal cobalt, which is otherwise used for thermal stabilisation of high-nickel battery cells. SVOLT is thus the only company on the market so far that has managed to bring high-nickel cell chemistry without cobalt to mass production readiness.

The new battery cells consist of 75 percent nickel and 25 percent manganese and are stabilised using company-developed doping and coating processes. In this way, SVOLT is achieving an energy density comparable to that of NCM battery cells. At the same time avoiding the use of cobalt makes the cells more sustainable, durable and cheaper.

The NMX battery cells from SVOLT are currently undergoing endurance testing in vehicles. The high-tech company’s cobalt-free NMX battery will be installed in vehicles and offered to customers/consumers as early as mid-2021.

SVOLT is already developing comprehensive protection and prevention concepts for the highly automated cell factory and its employees. Comprehensive measures in the areas of waste water and emission protection as well as fire prevention will also be actively taken into account in construction planning.

Since only handling and assembly processes are carried out in the module and pack factory, no increased noise or odour are to be expected apart from the construction work and delivery traffic.

In addition to protecting the environment, SVOLT takes all necessary fire protection measures. As the existing infrastructure in the former  “Laminate Park” is a woodworking business, many of the necessary protective measures such as the infrastructure for a plant fire brigade, sprinkler systems in the buildings and storage tanks with extinguishing water are already available and will also be used by SVOLT after their modernisation. All these measures are part of an overall concept for active fire prevention on the premises.

It is also planned to supply the cell factory as well as the module and pack factory with 100% “green electricity”. SVOLT is currently also examining the possibility of using electric, carbon-neutral shuttle trucks for transport between the plants.

The two sites in Saarland are about 30 kilometres apart. For this, SVOLT will examine the possibility of establishing electric, carbon-neutral transport between the plants. The Heusweiler plant will be approached only from the western side. The southern access will be a low-traffic area.

For a production capacity of 12 GWh, SVOLT expects around 20 truck journeys between the two locations in Überherrn and Heusweiler. This corresponds to one to two trucks per hour, depending on shift operation. SVOLT expects a volume of 36 trucks per day for delivery of the required materials to the cell factory.

The state-of-the-art cell factory will be gradually expanded and will achieve an installed production capacity of 6 GWh in the first phase, with construction designed to allow 12 GW. In accordance with customer requirements, SVOLT is planning to expand its production capacity in further construction phases by 6 GWh each, so that a total of 24 GWh can be industrialised at the location. This corresponds to batteries for 300,000 to 500,000 electric vehicles per year.

SVOLT will create up to 2,000 jobs in Saarland with the cell factory in the final expansion stage as well as the module and pack factory.

Around 400 jobs will be created at the “Linslerfeld” location by the start of production at the end of 2023.

Around 150 jobs will be created at the Heusweiler location by the start of production in mid-2022.

Both locations will be looking for employees from a wide range of fields. This includes production and logistics specialists as well as process engineers, IT specialists and chemists.

At both locations at Heusweiler and Überherrn, SVOLT is also planning to set up competence clusters in the areas of software, AI, process automation and process engineering – with the resulting personnel requirements.

SVOLT is currently looking for the right employees for senior management. In the second quarter of 2021, the company will start hiring process engineers. The application process for production employees is expected to start in the third quarter of 2021.

The number of employees will grow with the individual construction phases. Four stages of industrialization are planned, each with 6 GWh – this corresponds to batteries for 75,000 to 125,000 electric vehicles per year. With each stage of expansion, the number of employees will increase accordingly.

In view of the shortage of skilled workers in Germany and Europe, SVOLT is committed to invest in the skilled workers of tomorrow. For this reason, the company plans to provide apprenticeships in Saarland from production start onwards.

The requirements will depend very much on the job and the role within the company. What is important to SVOLT is to match the right person with the right role for him or her. Next year SVOLT will be able to publish more details and information about this. At the moment, the company is still in an early planning phase.

It is important for SVOLT to be an attractive employer for employees and potential applicants. This includes an attractive working environment as well as market-driven pay.