HELSINKI, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Valmet Automotive has opened a new battery plant in Uusikaupunki, southwestern Finland, the Finnish vehicle and battery manufacturer announced on Tuesday.
The company held an opening event for the new plant on Tuesday, attended by the Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintila. Production of high-voltage automotive battery modules and battery packs has begun at the new plant, the company said.
As a major investment in the business of EV (electric vehicle) systems by Valmet Automotive, the new plant cost 120 million euros (141.88 U.S. dollars) and is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in Finland.
The battery plant locates in the same building as the Uusikaupunki car plant, which offers manufacturing services and logistic optimization to automotive service providers.
Valmet Automotive said that four more battery production lines will be added to the Uusikaupunki plant in 2024. Its annual production capacity will reach 500,000 battery modules and battery packs.
"The possibility of producing electric vehicles and battery systems under one roof is a unique offering for the automotive industry," said Olaf Bongwald, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Valmet Automotive.
With battery plants in Salo (Southern Finland) and Uusikaupunki, and another due to open in Kirchardt, Germany in 2022, the company was extending its battery production network and product range, said Jyrki Nurmi, senior vice president of the EV strategy.
"The strong need for further production capacities for battery systems is proven by the three battery production contracts we already have for our new Uusikaupunki plant," said Nurmi.
Founded in 1968, the majority of Valmet Automotive was owned by Pontos Group and Finnish government-owned holding company Tesi. China's battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) began a strategic partnership with the company and became its third-largest stakeholder in 2017.