BMW Brilliance Automotive has officially opened its Plant Dadong extension in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, according to the information office of Shenyang people’s government.

The extension has a footprint of 910,000 square metres, equivalent to 125 football pitches.

Franz Decker, president and CEO of BMW Brilliance, claimed the company has established one of the most “advanced and intelligent” production bases in Shenyang.

The plant produces the X5, X3 and 5 series for China and is also the only plant building the electric iX3 for global sale.

The upgraded plant now has extended press, body and paint shops plus a single roof logistics and assembly building with two independent production lines.

The body shop is equipped with Kuka’s largest Titan robot with a loading capacity of 1.3 tonnes for under body grabbing which ensures the stability of the body with an action repeatability accuracy of 0.1mm.

Nine new special railway lines have been added to the plant. At present, nearly 80% of the vehicles built there are transported entirely or partly by railway, reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Waste aluminum and scrap are recycled in the stamping workshop, 100% renewable water is used in the paint shop and energy efficiency will be further improved in the future. Solar photovoltaic systems have also been upgraded. This year, 179,000 square meters of solar panels are expected to generate more than 21 megawatt hours of renewable energy.

Since 2010, the joint venture BBA has invested around CNY 83 billion in Shenyang and built up the production system integrating R&D, purchasing, powertrain and vehicle in one location, making it BMW’s largest.

This summer, a third vehicle plant will open to build the i3, a fully electric mid-size sports sedan made exclusively in and for China. Shenyang will then house three vehicle plants and a powertrain factory which makes high voltage batteries as well as combustion engines.

Group Production chief Milan Nedeljkovic said: “Last year, nearly one third of the BMWs produced globally were made in Shenyang.”