Dutch Battery Company Lithium Werks to Build €1.6bn Factory in China

Lithium Werks, a Dutch battery company, will invest €1.6bn to build a factory in China, in a deal signed during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday.  Lithium Werks, which was founded this year by Kees Koolen, former chief executive of Booking.com, said the 60-hectare factory will produce 8 gigawatt-hours of batteries a year, enough to power hundreds of thousands of vehicles. The agreement is the latest sign of China’s efforts to open its domestic battery market to foreign investment. Foreign battery companies have struggled to expand in China over the past few years due to rules that encouraged local car companies to use Chinese-made batteries. “It’s a national strategy to make that a big industry,” Mr Koolen said. “There’s a lot of companies in Europe and outside who need battery cells.” Financial Times