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Tesla battery supplier CATL’s Sichuan Plant is first Zero-carbon facility in industry

Credit: CATL-SC

Sichuan Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited, or CATL-SC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CATL, had its facility certified as the first Zero-carbon factory in the new energy industry late last week. The factory received the PAS 2060 certification on carbon neutrality earlier this month.

CATL, a battery supplier for Tesla and other electric vehicle manufacturers, has worked with the Austin-based leader in electric vehicles since late 2019, with the partnership officially announced during Q2 2020.

The plant was certified by SGS, the world’s leading testing, inspection, and certification company. For years, CATL-SC has been working to reduce carbon emissions and make its supply chain from production to product implementation as sustainable as possible. The facility utilizes a smart plant management system, enabling data interconnection through automatic capture of the plant system data and equipment operation data, the company said in a press release.

The systematic facility management platform helps to realize the plant’s safe, reliable, high-efficiency, and low-carbon operation. Equipment groups with high energy consumption even have an optimization algorithm, which calculates each sub-equipment’s operating parameters with the lowest total energy consumption of the system.

General Manager of CATL-SC, Zhu Yunfeng, said the plant started working toward zero-carbon emissions early in its construction. The factory has used innovation and other strategies to produce high-quality components and products with less quantities of raw materials.

Within the plant’s operation, CATL-SC has used upgraded logistics equipment and other sustainable factory transportation methods to reduce emissions. These include driverless logistics vehicles and electric forklifts, which enable zero-carbon operation among supplier factories, raw material warehouses, processing factories, finished product warehouses, and customers’ factories, CATL added. The company also encourages workers to utilize electric vehicles or shared mobility to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in all aspects of life and production.

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The location of the facility also contributes to its ability to be carbon-neutral. Three rivers, the Jinsha River, Minjiang River, and Yangtze River, traverse the City of Yibin, where the plant is located, to create an ideal natural environment with abundant water resources. This enables the plant to reduce 400,000 tons of carbon emissions every year. Over 80% of the plant’s energy consumption comes from hydropower.

“The certification marks a significant milestone for CATL towards its carbon neutrality goals,” CATL said in a statement. “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.”

CATL is planning to build a new $5 billion battery facility in North America.

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Tesla battery supplier CATL’s Sichuan Plant is first Zero-carbon facility in industry
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