Dutch battery maker Lithium Werks BV, founded earlier this year, is investing 1.6 billion euros ($1.85 billion) in a massive lithium-ion cell factory in China to meet surging demand for batteries. The facility will have production capacity of 8 gigawatt-hours per year, or the equivalent capacity of batteries to power 160,000 cars. It will be the company's second Chinese manufacturing site and should start production in early 2021, Chairman Kees Koolen said by phone. The company will provide 20 percent of the cost in equity capital and raise the rest in project finance from a consortium of Chinese banks. "We're in China again because it moves faster than others, it makes decisions quickly," Koolen said. "We're also in discussions with European governments but they're just doing a lot of talking." Batteries will play a key role in both the energy industry to complement the increasing share of intermittent renewable power, as well as a cleaner alternative to gasoline and diesel engines prevalent in cars, buses and trucks across the world.
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