Verkor has selected the port of Dunkirk in northern France for construction of its first gigafactory to develop low-carbon battery cells, generating up to 1,200 direct jobs.
First delivery of low-carbon high performance batteries for electric vehicles is scheduled for July, 2025, to be manufactured in Dunkirk
Manufacturing capacity will expand from 16 GWh in 2025 to 50 GWh by 2030.
Verkor says Dunkirk is the “most promising site” out of the 40 researched in France, Spain and Italy. Spanning more than 150 hectares, the plant will meet growing demand from European and international car manufacturers.
The company adds the factory meets all requirements for a gigafactory in terms of land, logistics, energy capacity, proximity to customers, access to a qualified workforce and scalability. Up to 1,200 direct jobs and more than 3,000 indirect jobs are expected to be generated during the first phase of the project.
Once operational, the gigafactory will supply several customers, most notably Renault Group after signing a partnership with Verkor last summer.
“We are eager now to work with our partners to unite all the winning conditions to build the best battery-cell factory in the world,” said Verkor CEO, Benoit Lemaignan.
“Dunkirk is the best choice among many other great opportunities, and I really want to thank all the people in the territories, as well as our partners including Groupe IDEC, who supported us in this process.”
Verkor and the French National Commission for Public Debate are now engaged in the national consultation process for the site.
“Mastering the entire battery value chain is critical to the transition to electric mobility,” added French Industry Minister, Agnès Pannier-Runacher.
“I welcome this new important step by Verkor. Their choice of location reinforces ‘the electric battery valley’ that is taking shape in the Hauts de France, as well as its dynamic ecosystem. It sends a positive signal to Dunkirk’s industrial platform, which has key assets in the sector.
“Verkor, like many players in the value chain, can rely on the government’s on-going support under the France 2030 plan.”
Construction of the gigafactory is scheduled to start in 2023. Research and development will continue to be based in Grenoble, where building of the Verkor Innovation Centre (VIC) is under way.
Founded in July, 2020, Verkor is a French industrial company based in Grenoble, with the backing of EIT InnoEnergy, Groupe IDEC, Schneider Electric, Capgemini, Renault, EQT Ventures, Arkema, Tokai COBEX and FMET managed by Demeter.