A Slovakian startup has made the decisive choice of a suitable location for its gigafactory, which will be dedicated to the manufacturing and recycling of batteries. This strategic move follows earlier preliminary agreements that were signed with the Government of Serbia.
InoBat, the esteemed startup, has recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with Serbia’s Ministry of Finance and the Municipality of Ćuprija, a town situated in the central part of the country. This memorandum solidifies their commitment to construct their second gigafactory in this region.
The startup proudly announced, “We are delighted to reveal Ćuprija as the chosen location for our Serbia Giga Factory and recycling project, codenamed Lion. This project has been in development for the past two years in collaboration with the International Financing Corporation (IFC).”
InoBat further elaborated that Lion will mark their second gigafactory in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. The company is already in the process of developing the Voderady research and development pilot line, as well as a mini-giga factory in Slovakia.
It is worth noting that one of the esteemed shareholders of InoBat is Rio Tinto, a prominent entity in the industry. Furthermore, the Government of Serbia has expressed its readiness to offer an enticing incentives package totaling EUR 419 million for the Lion project. This state-of-the-art facility will focus on assembling energy storage solutions, electric vehicle batteries, and recycling batteries. InoBat has committed to aligning its activities with the comC2C circular value chain development platform.
Back in November 2022, InoBat had already entered into preliminary agreements with the Government of Serbia regarding the construction of a gigafactory. Notably, one of the investors in InoBat, Rio Tinto, has been actively involved in the development of a lithium mining and processing project in Serbia. Although the project faced significant public opposition and protests, there are hints that it might be revived, making the collaboration with InoBat even more likely.
InoBat has also forged a partnership with China-based Minth Group in Serbia. The CEO of InoBat, Marian Bocek, expressed the reason behind selecting Ćuprija as the location, highlighting the welcoming and enthusiastic local community, as well as a proactive municipal government. He added that the potential for co-developing a distributed power smart grid and utilizing renewable sources of electricity for their own consumption was an additional advantage.
Tara Lindstedt, a board member and Chief Development Officer (CDO) of InoBat, commended the progress of the Lion project. She mentioned that earlier this year, InoBat had signed a memorandum of understanding with Minth Group, a collaboration that spans the battery value chain in Europe, starting with Serbia.
Jimmy Wong, the Managing Director for Europe at Minth Group, proudly asserted that his company, based in China, has eight sites in the Balkan country. This strong presence further influenced InoBat’s decision to establish their second facility in Serbia.
The Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, expressed her satisfaction with InoBat’s investment in Serbia, as it will contribute to job creation in the new decarbonized circular economy. Maria Paulina Mogollon, the InoBat Manager of Upstream and Advisory for Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services (MAS) in Europe and Latin America, expressed her belief that the Lion project will firmly establish Serbia as a prominent player in European low-carbon and circular renewable energy storage solutions, as well as electric vehicle battery value chains.