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Volkswagen will invest 3,000 million in the Sagunto gigafactory and will make the largest industrial investment in Spain | Economy

The minister Reyes Maroto, the president of Volkswagen, Herbert Diess, the president of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the Valencian president, Ximo Puig, this Thursday in Sagunto, on the land where the gigafactory will be located.
The minister Reyes Maroto, the president of Volkswagen, Herbert Diess, the president of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the Valencian president, Ximo Puig, this Thursday in Sagunto, on the land where the gigafactory will be located.Monica Torres

The future Volkswagen electric vehicle battery gigafactory in Sagunto needs an investment of 3,000 million euros for its construction and start-up. It will occupy a 200-hectare area of ​​the Valencian city where there are now fields, some orange trees and others vacant, and will create some 3,000 direct jobs. Between 20% and 30% of the energy that will feed the first factory of this type of the German multinational in Spain, and third in Europe, will come from a new solar plant that Iberdrola will install nearby, at a cost close to 500 million euros, and for which it will require an area of ​​240 hectares.

These are some of the figures and forecasts that have been broken down this Thursday throughout the presentation of the project that has taken place on the grounds of the future factory that should be operating in 2026, according to the plans of the firm. There have been other announcements or concretions: Seat-Volkswagen plans to invest 3,000 million euros in the electrification of its vehicle factory in Pamplona and another in the Martorell (Barcelona) plant in the coming years.

The Valencian president, Ximo Puig, shows the minister Reyes Maroto, the president of Volkswagen, Herbert Diess, and the president of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, the Saguntine land of the gigafactory.
The Valencian president, Ximo Puig, shows the minister Reyes Maroto, the president of Volkswagen, Herbert Diess, and the president of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, the Saguntine land of the gigafactory. Monica Torres

In total, the multinational is going to mobilize 10,000 million euros together with its partners, 62 companies with which it has allied itself to present itself (it did so last Wednesday) to the Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation of the Electric and Connected Vehicle (Perte -VEC), the European funds granted by the Government. The 3,000 million difference with those initially announced by Volkswagen are explained by the contributions of the aforementioned companies (more than 60% SMEs), as specified by the corporation.

The presidents of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and of the Valencian Generalitat, the also socialist Ximo Puig, and the Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, have led the large political delegation that has attended the presentation ceremony, held among orange trees and with the silhouette of the castle of Sagunto, of Iberian and Roman origin, in the background. On behalf of Volkswagen, the representation has been led by its president, Herbert Diess, who has described in fluent Spanish the multinational’s commitment as the “largest industrial investment in the history of Spain”. “We are going to electrify the second largest car producer in Europe”, installing a new gigafactory and creating “a complete ecosystem of suppliers” in order to complete the entire cycle, “from the extraction of lithium, to the assembly of batteries”, has pointed out.

Land where the gigafactory will be installed with the castle of Sagunto in the background.
Land where the gigafactory will be installed with the castle of Sagunto in the background. Monica Torres

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Pedro Sánchez has influenced Spain’s possibilities of becoming “a great hub [centro o nodo]”European battery production” thanks to the future of the gigafactory on the land for industrial use of Parc Sagunt II. “Almost no other country will be able to carry out such a comprehensive deployment of the electric vehicle” and has guaranteed that all administrations “will comply” so that it is operational in 2026. In this sense, several of the directors of Seat-Volkswagen have reiterated throughout Throughout the day the need to “accelerate” the project to meet the plans, maintain its 20% market share in Europe and comply with the reduction of CO2 emissions. In a tweet after the event, Diess thanked Sánchez for his presence and concluded his message with the phrase: “Now speed is the key!”

The President of the Government has referred to the “leadership” of both the German representatives and Ximo Puig and the Saguntine mayor, Darío Moreno, and has attributed the choice of Parc Sagunt for its communication by sea, air and road, to human capital and the proximity of research centers and universities. Puig has referred to the alliance with the largest German company as the “most important business movement in half a century” in the Valencian Community and has assured that the project will change the lives of “thousands of Valencians, both those of today and the of future generations, who will continue to reap “the social dividend of this operation, a transformative project with tens of thousands of jobs, with new auxiliary companies and with synergies”.

The demand from the battery factory will be 1.4 terawatts/hour per year and the electric company will provide 220 gigawatts/hour, as specified by the member of the Volkswagen AG executive committee responsible for Technology and chairman of the SEAT board of directors, Thomas Schmal. The Power Co company of the German corporation will be in charge of starting up and managing the gigafactory. Schmall has added that he has never received so many requests to be plant manager as has happened with the one in Valencia.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, among the leaders of Volkswagen at the exit of the act.
The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, among the leaders of Volkswagen at the exit of the act. Monica Torres

Asked if an agreement has been reached to supply batteries to Ford Spain, whose Almussafes plant is awaiting the decision of the US parent company on who will manufacture its electric vehicles in Europe, Schmall has referred the oval firm to respond, although he recalled that the group has “a firm cooperation” with the manufacturer and will use the Volkswagen technology platform in Cologne. Diess has assured that Volkswagen needs the six battery plants planned in Europe to maintain the current market share of 20%, although production for third parties is always contemplated.

At the end of the act, the president of the multinational and the president of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, held a talk on the importance of green energy and combating climate change before signing an agreement for the installation of a large photovoltaic plant. Some of the panels will be located on the roof of the factory, but for most of them an area of ​​240 hectares is needed, more space than the gigafactory itself will occupy. Neither in Parc Sagunt I, with 300 hectares and already almost clogged as a logistics hub, nor in Parc Sagunt II (600 hectares), where the plant will be installed, is there enough space. The expansion plans for Parc Sagunt III have already begun. Solutions are being sought for this solar park that Volkswagen considers essential to provide between 20% and 30% of the energy it needs.

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