Valmet Automotive has signed a third customer deal for manufacturing battery systems at the Uusikaupunki battery plant. The customer is a major automotive OEM. Installations of the production lines have started at the plant, and the recruitment campaign is progressing well. Production at the battery plant will start in the second half of 2021.
The new production contract strengthens Valmet Automotive’s position as a major supplier of automotive battery systems and further supports the company’s strategic goal of expanding the EV Systems business line. The contract also is a sign of the continuous and rapid growth in demand for battery systems. Details of the new contract cannot be disclosed yet.
Construction work in the Uusikaupunki battery plant is progressing according to plans. The installation work of the production lines has already started. The Uusikaupunki battery plant will be producing battery modules and battery packs, and the plant will employ about 200 people in the start-up phase. Personnel training for the positions will begin in the first half of 2021.
– With bold investments, Valmet Automotive has quickly become a major supplier of battery systems to automotive OEMs. Already a third battery manufacturing contract for the new battery plant in Uusikaupunki within a short period of time is a strong indication that we are moving in the right direction and that Valmet Automotive has world-class competencies in battery systems, says Jyrki Nurmi, SVP EV Systems.
The footprint of the battery plant is approximately 16,000 m2, comprising the production space, facilities for logistics and quality functions, such as a battery laboratory, as well as office and social facilities.
Office and production facilities are controlled clean areas with standardized temperature and air humidity. Several stages of the production process, such as laser welding, gluing, riveting and helium tightness testing, are automated. Production will feature about 60 robots, and parts will be transferred by automated conveyors with a total length of about one kilometer.
– Valmet Automotive is building a unique service for the automotive industry in Uusikaupunki. We offer our customers a highly flexible and environmentally conscious opportunity to manufacture both electric vehicles and their battery systems under the same roof, says Olaf Bongwald, CEO of Valmet Automotive.
Sustainability issues are carefully considered in the plant design. All plant operations will be carbon neutral already this year. The production lines emphasize the requirements of work ergonomics, the lighting is energy-efficient and the plant parking area will have charging stations for electric vehicles.
Mikael Mäki, Manager, Corporate Communications, Valmet Automotive
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The Valmet Automotive Group is one of the largest vehicle contract manufacturers in the world, Tier 1 systems supplier for convertible roof systems and for battery systems. In its strategic development, Valmet Automotive Group focuses on electromobility with the development and manufacturing of battery modules as well as packs for electrified vehicles. The activities in the group are organized in three business lines: Manufacturing, EV Systems and Roof & Kinematic Systems. Since its founding in 1968, Valmet Automotive has produced more than 1.7 million vehicles at the Uusikaupunki, Finland plant. In Salo, near the Uusikaupunki plant, Valmet Automotive opened its first volume production of battery systems for the automotive industry in autumn 2019. The company has locations in Finland, Germany and Poland. Valmet Automotive’s largest shareholders are state-owned Finnish investment company Tesi and the Pontos Group, each with a stake of 38.46 %. 23.08 % is held by the Chinese Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL), the world leading manufacturer of battery cells for electric vehicles.