Valmet Automotive’s Salo battery plant gets a second customer, plant extension completed
Valmet Automotive has received a second battery manufacturing contract for the Salo battery plant. The new contract will expand the Salo plant production into high voltage batteries. At the same time, the extension of the Salo plant has been completed on schedule. The new building extends the plant’s logistics and production areas.
The new customer deal is a significant opening for the Salo battery plant, where production has so far focused on 48-volt batteries. With the new manufacturing agreement, the Salo plant will also start production of high-voltage batteries for the automotive industry. The goal is to start production already this year. Further details of the new contract cannot be disclosed yet.
The Salo plant has been expanded by 3,500 square meters. The construction work began in late 2020, and now the total plant area is 23,500 square meters. Most of the new space will be utilized for logistical needs, but also the production area has been extended. The production line for the new battery model will be partly located in the plant extension area.
– Valmet Automotive is growing very fast in battery business. With the new customer deal for the Salo plant, we have already announced five battery manufacturing contracts in our Finnish operations. This is an integral part of our growth strategy that focuses on EV systems, says Jyrki Nurmi, SVP EV Systems, Valmet Automotive.
The new logistics facilities and production line will be supported by new and industry-leading technologies in the internal logistics. Instead of traditional forklift deliveries, automatic AMR robots will be introduced to the high-voltage battery production line to take care of material replenishments.
The recruitments for the Salo plant are continuing. During the autumn, the additional need is around 250 people. Most will be needed for positions in production, quality and logistics, but the extension of plant operations also requires more supervisors and specialists in various fields. New production personnel will be starting on a weekly basis. The plant currently employs about 500 people.
In total, Valmet Automotive has been nominated for five new customer orders for battery production at its Uusikaupunki and Salo plants since 2019.