The rapid growth of the electric vehicle market has brought the HOCHTIEF Group several mega contracts. A contract was awarded to one of HOCHTIEF’s US subsidiaries, Turner Construction Company (Turner), to build an initial phase of a four-billion-dollar building program for a battery factory in De Soto, Kansas. Together with a joint venture partner, Turner will build a manufacturing facility for electric vehicle batteries for Panasonic Energy that will begin production in 2025. The project will include construction of a central utility plant and other buildings. The facility will support the client’s net-zero ambition by 2030.
Demand for electric vehicles is rapidly growing. In the third quarter of 2022, EVs recorded the strongest growth of all fuel types (over 22 percent) with 260,000 units registered across the EU. The construction of battery factories is clearly picking up speed around the world. Industry experts project that automakers will invest 330 billion dollars globally in the entire EV supply chain, over the next five years. “High-tech infrastructure is a key strategic market for the group, and we are well positioned to support our clients in ramping up battery production capacity for their automotive partners,” says HOCHTIEF CEO Juan Santamaría.
EV battery infrastructure construction is rapidly expanding in the US. Turner Construction Company has already won several major contracts including a project for Ascend Elements in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, with an investment volume of up to one billion dollars. The first of its kind, this facility will use Ascend Elements’ patented Cathode direct synthesis process. This closed-loop system produces sustainable, engineered battery materials from recycled batteries, while reducing dependence on mining and waste and carbon emissions compared to traditional cathode manufacturing. On behalf of Tesla, UGL, a subsidiary of HOCHTIEF’s Australian company CIMIC, has played a key role in realizing the Victorian Big Battery Project. The Tesla Megapack, which has been operating there since late 2021, is a large-scale rechargeable stationary energy storage product with lithium-ion batteries intended for use in battery storage power plants. In January 2023, UGL was awarded a contract by Neoen to install high-voltage infrastructure that will connect a Tesla-supplied battery energy storage system to a solar farm.