Automakers are preparing for increasing electric vehicle demand in Europe, which the International Energy Association says overtook China in 2020 as the fastest-growing market for EVs. Tesla recently completed a plant in Berlin. VW is planning to add EV production lines at its plant at its global headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, and is in the early stages of planning a new EV plant nearby, which could come online in 2026. Nissan will invest $17.6 billion to establish EV refurbishing plants in Europe and the U.S. by 2026. It aims to expand its global battery production by 2031 in order to meet future EV demand. In July, Nissan announced a $1.4-billion investment in its Sunderland, U.K., EV hub, which includes a 9-GWh battery plant.
TSMC Semiconductor Plant
TSMC announced on Nov. 9 that it and Sony had formed a joint subsidiary, Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing, to build a $7-billion semiconductor plant in Kumamoto, Japan. The facility will have the capacity to produce 45,000 12-in. wafers monthly and employ about 1,500 people, TSMC says. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2022, and TSMC aims to begin production at the plant in 2024.
Vaccine Manufacturing Facility
German pharmaceutical firm BioNTech SE is working with the Rwandan government and the Institut Pasteur de Dakar to build its first African manufacturing site for mRNA-based vaccines, such as its COVID-19 vaccine. BioNTech plans to make as many as 50 million doses per year at the facility to start, and says it will add manufacturing lines to produce hundreds of millions of vaccine doses per year. Construction is set to begin in mid-2022.
Ardagh Beverage Can Plant
Luxembourg-based Ardagh Metal Packaging announced plans on Nov. 19 to build a $200-million beverage can plant near Belfast in Northern Ireland. It will supply recyclable cans for clients including the nearby Coca-Cola HBC Knockmore Hill beverage plant as well as others throughout the U.K., Ireland and elsewhere in Europe. AMP says the plant still is in the planning stage and it is engaging local stakeholders on the project. The plant is expected to become operational in 2023.
Green Energy Manufacturing
Fortescue Future Industries, a subsidiary of the Australian iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group, and American fuel cell maker Plug Power are planning to build an $83-million plant in Queensland, Australia. The 2-GW facility will manufacture large-scale proton exchange membrane electrolyzers used for hydrogen fuel and can be expanded to produce fuel cells in the future. When it comes online in 2023, FFI says the 12,900-sq-m plant will be the largest electrolyzer factory in the world.