Italvolt: why the Italian Gigafactory risks failing before leaving

italvolt gigafactory

Upgrade 16 / 03: the Italvolt project could move to another area of ​​Italy, find all the details at the end of the article.

It will be built in Scarmagno (Turin area) the first Gigafactory in Italy by itvolt, with the desire to make it one of the largest in Europe and in the world. The mega-building will have to produce up to 45GWh per year into next-generation lithium-ion cells, targeting batteries for electric vehicles, industrial machinery, energy storage and more. A decidedly ambitious goal, but which is encountering quite a few problems in achieving it. Not only is Italy the country where Alessandro Volta invented the battery in the 300.000th century, but it also represents a nerve center in the pan-European corridor and in the European automotive industry. This is well known by Italvolt, whose project envisages a 3.000 m² Gigafactory that employs around 2050 people. The plan is part of the intentions of the European Union, intending to achieve carbon neutrality by XNUMX e become more independent from China for battery production. However, Italvolt's project came to an abrupt halt after discovering the structural problems afflicting the area in question.

Italvolt wants to build the first Gigafactory in Italy, but there are several doubts about the project

italvolt gigafactory

The Olivetti industrial center once stood in the Scarmagno area, now abandoned for 30 years. The problem is with hers power grid, unable to sustain the high energy load required by a Gigafactory; according to estimates, it would absorb something like the1% of all electricity circulating in Italy. After having discussed it with the national manager Terna, Italvolt let it be known that there is an intention to invest and resolve it, creating specific power lines to satisfy the energy demand, but the problem is in the timing. “It takes 4 years“, says the company: too many, if you consider that the Gigafactory should leave for 2025, due to bureaucratic delays due to the required authorizations. A problem not only Italian but also European, as complained by the Swedish company which found thehuge deposit of rare earths which could make Europe more independent from Asia but which risks being operational in too many years.

The patron of Italvolt, Lars Carlstrom, was keen to specify that the Italian Gigafactory project was not interrupted, also by virtue of the international funding received. To have slowed it down there could also be reclamation costs that are too high for the Scarmagno area, despite the 10 million invested by Italvolt for appraisals and various works; for this reason, the Piedmont area remains the first choice, despite the search for alternatives has been started; and we are already thinking of a second Italian Gigafactory: as Carlstrom states, “I'm thinking about another region for a second factory“. In all of this, there are those who doubt Italvolt's intentions, after Britishvolt, also founded by Lars Carlstrom, is currently in the process of bankruptcy. He defends himself by stating that he got out of it before the investments that led to bankruptcy were made, as well as pointing out that he did not use public funding for Italvolt, despite its completion will benefit the nation; in this regard, he added that “in a few weeks I will reveal the name of a large foreign investor who wants to bet on my Gigafactory".

The focus is on Sicily | Update 16/03

After selecting the Scarmagno area in Piedmont, the Italvolt project has another destination: Termini Imerese, i.e. on the other side of Italy in Sicily. The plan provides for investments equal to 3,5 billion EUR and 3 years to build the plant which will employ 2.000 workers, and the area chosen would be that of the former FIAT area. Currently this area is owned by the automotive manufacturer Blutec, and discussions are underway with Italian unions and local institutions to understand whether or not to entrust it to Lars Carlstrom's company. As stated by Antonio Nobile of Fim Cisl, it is a "ambitious project that does not intend to wait for public funds but to start with private investments", even if the 5 million euros foreseen for the departure is considered a "small sum compared to the overall financial forecasts".

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