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March 25, 2019

Blackstone to join EU battery production subsidy programme

Blackstone Resources has formally submitted a business plan to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to join its battery production subsidy programme.

By Rhodri Morgan

Blackstone Resources has formally submitted a business plan to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to join its battery production subsidy programme.

Germany and France have both set up EUR1bn (US$1.1bn) and EUR700m subsidy programmes to facilitate battery production in Europe.

Blackstone along with a number of prominent battery technology firms were invited to summarise plans and submit applications for financing to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Blackstone's 100% owned subsidiary based in Erfurt has applied for this particular programme.

Blackstone will cooperate with additional German partners, which will provide a platform for further research. This will allow Blackstone to establish a substantial battery-production project in Germany. The aim is to use these new technologies to manufacture the next generation of electric-vehicle batteries, close to where German auto manufacturers are based.

EUR200m will be invested into the new project, initially from Blackstone's own funds with the aim to garner further support from Germany's subsidy programme and similar programmes being launched elsewhere in Europe.

Blackstone's management team has laid out a number of significant goals and milestone that it wishes to achieve in the German market.

The first is to create battery manufacturing facilities in close proximity to major German auto makers. Its aim it to offer an initial capacity of 100m battery cells per annum or around 1 gigawatt per annum (the equivalent of 25,000 to 100,000 electric-vehicle batteries) at lower costs than China. 

The second is to create an incubator fund and accelerator fund for numerous start-ups and academic research projects across Europe. In addition, Blackstone will cooperate with prominent universities from various cities.

Blackstone has already conducted detailed due diligence on a number of projects and started the evaluation process.

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