A123 Systems (Nasdaq:AONE), a developer
and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate(TM) lithium ion batteries and battery
systems, today announced details related to the further expansion of the company's
United States manufacturing capacity.
In December of 2009, A123 closed on its $249 million grant award from the Department
of Energy (DOE) and is using the available capital to help fund its capacity
expansion plans. A123 ended the third quarter of 2009 with final assembly capacity
of 169MW hours per year. A123 announced today that it has begun to make investments
in its 300,000 square foot plant in Livonia, Mich. to expand the final cell
assembly capacity by up to 200MW hours once fully operational, inclusive of
the previously announced 80MW hour expansion.
These investments will expand the company's global final cell assembly capacity
to over 360 MW hours, with the incremental 200MW hours of capacity expected
to be ready for production during the second half of 2010. The expansion in
capacity will provide A123 with the overall ability to produce over 320,000
hybrid vehicles with 1.1 kWh battery systems, or over 24,000 PHEVs with 15kWh
battery systems per year. A123 will continue to evaluate additional investments
in production capacity in response to anticipated customer demand.
During the fourth quarter of 2009, A123 announced that it signed a lease for
a 300,000 square foot facility in Romulus, Mich. A123 announced today that the
initial investments in this facility are to establish the company's North American
coating operations, and current plans are for the facility to be ready for production
during the first half of 2011.
David Vieau, President and Chief Executive Officer of A123 Systems, said, "The
combination of proceeds from our recent IPO and funding support from the DOE
has provided A123 Systems with the capital necessary to execute against our
expansion program. Our strategy is to deploy capital as we see customer demand
developing, and we are encouraged by recent developments and the momentum within
our overall portfolio of customer relationships across our key target markets.
Examples of such activity include today's announcement of a newly established
strategic relationship with Fisker Automotive, our recently signed joint venture
with SAIC and expansion of our electric grid customer base just to name a few."
Vieau added, "For close to four years, A123 Systems has demonstrated its
ability to manufacture advanced lithium ion batteries in scale and at extremely
high quality levels, and we are now expanding our capacity to ensure customers
and prospects that we can scale with them to meet expected strong demand in
the years ahead."
The new facilities in Livonia and Romulus will comprise stages of production
from coating and cell assembly to final assembly of complete automotive battery
systems. These facilities will provide a diverse set of skilled job opportunities
for Michigan's workforce including construction, engineering, sales and marketing,
administration and research and development, with initial hiring to begin this
year. This expansion in Michigan is a critical part of A123's commitment to
build world-class lithium ion battery manufacturing in the United States.