Valmet Automotive is extending its battery plant in Salo, Finland to meet the needs of increased production volumes of battery packs, doubling the number of employees in the next few years.

Construction work has started and will be completed during the summer of 2021.

The extension project allows the construction of new larger facilities for logistics and simultaneously building a new production line to increase plant volumes and the range of products to be manufactured.

Production volumes at the Salo plant recently reached record levels. The plant is operated by Valmet Automotive's EV Systems business line, which already has manufacturing contracts with three customers and further manufacturing contracts are in the pipeline. In addition, the EV Systems business line offers battery engineering and testing services.

The Salo battery plant employs currently about 200 people. With increased production in the plant, the number of employees is expected to increase to more than 400 during 2021 and 2022.

"Battery systems are the most significant growth area for Valmet Automotive and we intend to become a key player both as a battery contract manufacturer and as a Tier 1 system supplier," said Valmet Automotive CEO, Olaf Bongwald.

Valmet Automotive estimates its sales from battery systems and EV solutions will reach or even exceed the sales of vehicle manufacturing in the coming years.