Macron in Dunkirk this Friday to formalize the establishment of a battery factory by the Taiwanese ProLogium

Emmanuel Macron (right) and Prologium CEO Vincent Yang at the Choose France Summit in Versailles in July 2022. LUDOVIC MARIN

ProLogium intends to invest 5.2 billion euros in Dunkirk by 2030 to reach an annual production capacity of 48 GWh, enough to equip hundreds of thousands of cars.

The day after his presentation of the outline of the green industry bill, Emmanuel Macron continues this Friday his sequence on the theme of the reindustrialization of France. The Head of State is expected in Dunkirk (North) in the afternoon, where he is to visit the Aluminum Dunkerque factory, “Europe’s largest producer of primary aluminum“, according to the Elysee.

The President of the Republic, flanked by several ministers – Bruno Le Maire, Gérald Darmanin, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Roland Lescure and Olivier Becht – must above all “formalize new investments for the Dunkirk basin“says the palace. Behind this formulation hides the establishment of a large battery factory by the Taiwanese ProLogium, information known since Tuesday and announced by the group this Friday.

The project is colossal: in total, ProLogium intends to invest 5.2 billion euros in Dunkirk by 2030 to reach an annual production capacity of 48 GWh, enough to equip hundreds of thousands of cars. The group hopes to start production at the end of 2026 and ramp up over several years, with the key to 3,000 jobs in the factory and 12,000 indirect jobs for the territory.

Founded in 2006, ProLogium presents itself as a pioneer of the next generation battery, with a solid rather than liquid electrolyte (the one used in current lithium-ion technology). This strong battery achieves “a power between 360 and 390 watts per kg against between 160 and 180 watts per kg for lithium-ion batteries“, ures its founder and CEO Vincent Yang, and thus to greatly increase the autonomy of electric vehicles. This technology is still waiting to be approved for electric mobility.

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There are many reasons for setting up in France“, indicated during an interview with several press agencies the vice-president responsible for the international development of the group, Gilles Normand. The Taiwanese company wanted “have access to carbon-free electricity», or in Dunkirk, «we not only have access to nuclear electricity but there are also offshore wind turbines“, he lists.

Moreover, “a real ecosystem for batteries is developing in the north of France“, He greets, while three other projects of “gigafactories” are already announced there. One in Douvrin, by ACC, the joint venture between Stellantis, TotalEnergies and Mercedes, whose opening is scheduled for the end of May, the second in Douai, by the Chinese Envision, and the third in Dunkirk already, with the French start-up Verkor.

This will allow us to have a critical m to see material suppliers set up“, indicates Gilles Normand, while the current batteries called “lithium-ion” are very greedy in critical metals such as lithium, graphite or cobalt, with a supply chain today largely controlled by China. It also allows “proximity to our customers because many electric vehicle factories are located in Northern Europe” And “Dunkirk is very well connected by rail, road and a deep water port which facilitates the import and export of our products», continues Gilles Normand.

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