Exyte to build dry room for Volkswagen’s first ever battery cell gigafactory

Published: 28-Nov-2023

Exyte is set to build a state-of-the-art dry room for Volkswagen in Salzgitter, Germany

Exyte, an expert in design, engineering, and delivery of high-tech facilities, continues its support of the global journey towards sustainability as the company is set to be building a state-of-the-art dry room for Volkswagen in Salzgitter, Germany.

The dry room will be located within Volkswagen’s battery cell gigafactory, currently being built at the site in Salzgitter. It will occupy an area of five soccer fields. 

Volkswagen’s first Group-owned battery cell factory is being built in Salzgitter. From 2025, unit cells for the volume segment will be produced there, and the cell factory will prospectively have an annual capacity of 40 GWh - sufficient for around 500,000 electric vehicles. 

“Receiving this contract is an achievement of strategic relevance for Exyte and demonstrates the trust world-class companies have in our ability to deliver top-tier projects. We are enthusiastic about contributing to the European automotive sector’s transition to sustainable mobility,” said Exyte CEO, Dr Wolfgang Büchele. 

Exyte sees great potential in the design and build approach for projects for battery cell gigafactories including dry rooms.

According to expert estimates, up to 150 gigafactories will be built worldwide in the coming years. In Europe alone, 30 gigafactories are currently being planned to enable electromobility to ramp up. “The design and construction of battery cell production facilities is a business area that will continue to develop positively, putting Exyte in an ideal position to create more opportunities to grow profitably in the future,” Büchele says.

Dry room is vital for battery cell production

In Salzgitter, Exyte is responsible for the detailed design, procurement, construction and commissioning of the required dry room including the exhaust treatment and particle monitoring for increased operator safety. Battery cell production requires a clean and dry environment which needs to be strictly monitored and controlled, and the dry room is central to this. Aspects such as humidity and particle contamination must be kept at a minimum as they can impact the quality and reliability of the battery cells produced.

“Designing and constructing a large-scale production area that can consistently provide an atmosphere with close to zero percent relative humidity, among other parameters, is nothing short of an engineering feat and one which Exyte excels at,” said Mark Garvey, President of Exyte’s Global Business Unit Advanced Technology Facilities.

With vast experience in delivering semiconductor fabs globally for over half a century, and having already designed and built a gigafactory with what is currently the largest dry room in Europe, Exyte has a proven track record and the profound expertise to successfully execute the project in Salzgitter.

Garvey added: “This is another significant milestone not just for Exyte but also for our client as both companies are committed to supporting the rising megatrend of electromobility for a more sustainable automotive industry.”

Salzgitter: a blueprint for Volkswagen’s global expansion

The new plant in Salzgitter will act as the blueprint and a prelude to Volkswagen’s plan to expand the electric vehicle battery cell production capabilities across Europe and North America.

Until 2030, Volkswagen plans to invest over 20 billion euro in the development of the battery business to generate over 20 billion euro in annual sales and create up to 20,000 jobs in Europe alone. Both Valencia, Spain, and Ontario, Canada, have already been announced as the locations for their next gigafactories.

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