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Energy, Mining & Resources

CATL’s Sichuan Plant Certified as World’s First Zero-carbon Factory in New Energy Industry

YIBIN, China

Sichuan Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL-SC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CATL, received the PAS 2060 certification on carbon neutrality from the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company SGS in March, making the plant the world’s first zero-carbon factory in the new energy industry.

Zhu Yunfeng, general manager of CATL-SC, said the plant has begun to craft the zero-carbon roadmap at the early stage of its establishment. Through continuous innovation in energy utilization, transportation, logistics, and manufacturing, the factory is able to produce more products of higher quality with less raw materials and carbon emissions. “Zero carbon” has become one of the core competencies of CATL-SC.

CATL-SC has taken multiple measures to reduce carbon emissions. It has developed a trailblazing smart plant management system, which enables the interconnection of data through automatic capture of the plant system data and equipment operation data. Meanwhile, the systematic facility management platform helps to realize the safe, reliable, high-efficiency and low-carbon operation of the factory. For equipment groups with high-energy consumption, by using a global optimization algorithm, it has calculated each sub-equipment’s operating parameters with the lowest total energy consumption of the system.

In terms of green manufacturing, CATL-SC has built a central control and management system for digital production. Equipped with global visual management, it has significantly reduced process losses, and with the support of the AI visual inspection system, which features automatic learning and extraction of defect characteristics, it has improved the detection rate in processes such as slitting and calendaring. All the waste produced during manufacturing will be recycled, and the recovery rate of precious metals such as nickel, cobalt and manganese can reach 99.3%.

CATL-SC has comprehensively upgraded the logistics chain and factory transportation by widely applying driverless logistics vehicles, electric forklifts, etc., which enables zero-carbon operation among supplier factories, raw material warehouses, processing factories, finished product warehouses, and customers’ factories. At the same time, employees are encouraged to use electric vehicles and shared mobility, thus reducing their carbon footprint in all aspects of production and life.

CATL-SC is located in Yibin, southwest China’s Sichuan Province. Three rivers, namely the Jinsha River, Minjiang River and Yangtze River traverse the city’s northern part, providing a superior natural environment, unique geographical location and abundant water resources, which enables the plant to reduce 400,000 tons of carbon emissions every year as over 80% of its energy consumption comes from hydropower.

The certification marks a significant milestone for CATL towards its carbon neutrality goals. As the world’s first zero-carbon battery plant, CATL’s Sichuan plant sets an example of how battery production can be carbon neutral, and also offers a brand new solution featuring electrification + zero carbon to the market. In the future, CATL will replicate its experiences in the “lighthouse factory” in other facilities in an effort to achieve carbon neutrality for all its 10 production bases worldwide, thus building a more sustainable industry ecosystem and contributing to the global carbon neutrality goal.

Source: Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd.