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German battery giant to quadruple production to 5GWh a year by 2020

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Leading German battery maker BMZ has started work on a €45 million expansion of its manufacturing plant near Frankfurt, that will quadruple its production capacity to around 5GWh of energy storage capacity a year, in anticipation of the coming global energy storage boom.

Already Europe’s largest independent lithium-ion battery system manufacturer, BMZ says the expansion will increase the size of its Karlstein facility to 55,000m2 by 2020, to produce up to 80 million lithium-ion batteries a year of varying sizes.

According to German Trade & Invest, construction of the new BMZ plant will take place in a number of phases and, once complete, will house 1,500 workers.

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Last year, BMZ invested €14 million in research and development and turned over €300 million. The company expects to achieve an annual turnover of €500 million by 2020.

According to energy storage market expert Tobias Rothacher, the timing of the German battery maker’s expansion is spot on, with the latest figures from the KfW development bank showing the number of PV-battery system installations increased by 50 per cent over the last year.

“Over 20 per cent of new PV systems under 30kWp now include batteries,” Rothacher said.

Grid-scale installations are also on the rise, with total battery capacity for primary control provision increasing more than 20-fold in Germany in the last three years.  

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