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Saft to double electrolyte production capacity with new facility in France

| By Mary Bailey

Saft (Levallois-Perret, France) inaugurated its new electrolyte workshop in Poitiers, France.  Ghislain Lescuyer, CEO of Saft, and Lenny Cypel, General Manager Saft Poitiers, were joined by the following guests of honor: Chantal Castelnot, Chef de cabinet at the Préfecture de la Vienne, Sacha Houlié, Deputy de la Vienne, Alain Rousset, President of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, Léonore Moncond’huy, Mayor of Poitiers and Florence Jardin, President of Grand Poitiers.

Ghislain Lescuyer, CEO of Saft said: “The electrolyte produced by Saft is a unique differentiating factor for our lithium batteries in the face of stiff competition, particularly from Asia. This new facility demonstrates our commitment to continue investing in the future even in this unprecedented economic climate. It will enable us to be even more responsive to our customers’ demands and support innovation in electrolyte technologies.”

Lenny Cypel, General Manager of Saft Poitiers, added: “More than thirty companies, including fifteen local ones, were involved in the design and construction of this new strategic building for the Saft Poitiers site. Together with our teams, they did an excellent job in delivering this new facility on time in a particularly difficult context. I would like to thank them for their involvement.”

Saft’s electrolyte, produced in-house to a closely guarded recipe, is a critical factor in the performance, reliability and long life of the primary lithium cells it supplies to customers in France and abroad.  

Currently, the site produces around 500 tons of electrolyte per year. The new 1,900 square meter (20,000 square feet) workshop doubles the annual production capacity to 1,000 tons. Production is scheduled to begin in early 2021. This additional production capacity will allow the site to increase its flexibility to adapt to the strong demand from the Internet of Things sector.

This project represents an investment of €9 million out of a total of €20 million planned for the Poitiers site between 2018 and 2021. The electrolyte production processes will benefit from the latest technology developments in terms of automation, worker safety and environmental impact.

Saft opened the 37,000 square meter (400,000 square feet) Poitiers site in 1964. With 660 employees (63 hired last year), it is a global leader in the research, design and production of batteries for electronics and space and defense markets. It achieved total sales in 2019 of €140 million.