Zorlu Holding has signed a preliminary agreement with GSR Capital, a Chinese investment and private equity firm, consisting of $4.5 billion in investments in two areas. As a result of the agreement, GSR Capital will partner with Vestel, a Zorlu Group subsidiary, to have a 50 percent share of a mega-battery plant with a potential capacity of 25,000 megawatts (MW) for electric cars and energy storage batteries.
GSR Capital will also form an equal partnership with Meta Nickel Cobalt Mining Industry and Trade Inc., another subsidiary of the Zorlu Group, which is engaged in search, operation, exports, research and development (R&D), and investment activities with a view to introduce Turkey's nickel potential to the national economy.
Investments to be made in the framework of this partnership agreement will bring $6 billion in high value-added export revenues to the Turkish economy and create 4,000 jobs in the long term.
Under the agreement, the two groups aim to establish R&D centers in China and Turkey in the field of materials, mechanics and software. They also aim to begin the battery packaging process in 2018 and complete investments in the production of battery packs over the next four years.
The investment in the facility will start in 2018 and will be completed in 2023. It will cover all processes in battery production, from intermediate products to software and will produce 25,000 MW of battery per year. With the R&D potential an
d "know-how" that they create, both investments are aimed at making Zorlu Holding one the global groups that will set trends in the smart world of the future.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Zorlu Holding CEO Ömer Yüngül said a total of $4.5 billion will be invested by 2023 within the framework of the partnership in two areas with GSR Capital, adding: "This is an industrial transformation project. The investments in the framework of this partnership agreement will bring $6 billion in high value-added export revenues to the Turkish economy and create 4,000 jobs in the long term."
According to Yüngül, the 25,000-MW battery plant that will become operational in 2023 will provide batteries for 500,000 electric cars. "GSR Capital will form a 50-50 partnership with Meta Nickel Cobalt Mining Industry and Trade Inc., the first nickel-cobalt processing plant in Turkey and Europe, which our group founded with an entrepreneurial spirit and industrial identity. As a result of the investments to be made in the framework of this partnership, we plan to increase our capacity to 40,000 tons from the current 10,000 tons," Yüngül said.
Indicating that the plant is currently producing concentrated nickel in Gördes, Yüngül said within the scope of the partnership, it would start to produce nickel sulfate and cobalt sulfate, which are used in batteries. The group will also invest in a new facility to produce sulfuric acid, which is already being imported for use in nickel production. On the other hand, it will build 20,000 tons of nickel sulfate and cobalt sulfate plant in Eskişehir in an attempt to quadruple the capacity of the Meta nickel plant and to further boost the added value of the nickel produced. "This will be one of the few capacities of this size in this world. It will be unique in Turkey and Europe," Yüngül stressed.
GSR Capital Co-President Jianghua Su noted that GSR Capital has been focusing on the industrial-scale production of new energy technologies for decades, adding, "We believe in the strength, dynamism and potential of Turkey. This partnership with Zorlu Holding, one of Turkey's most innovative groups, will be one of the most important parts of our business development efforts in Europe that will carry us into the future."
Highlighting that Turkey has quite a successful industrial chain, Jianghua explained that their reason for investment is the strong production capacity and integration power of Turkey, which has the nickel and cobalt mine required for battery production. "Therefore, we take a bright view of electric cars in the future of Turkey," he added.
Underlining that Turkey is one of the countries in the world that can develop electric cars in the best way, Jianghua said, "Another reason for us to invest is Turkey's special position as an advantageous transportation center. Investing in Turkey means a gateway to Europe. Through our investments in Turkey, we will be able to appeal to both Europe and neighboring countries. The most important reason for investing is to have an extraordinary partner like Zorlu Holding."