CATL to build electric car battery cell factory in Thuringia -sources

FRANKFURT/LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) - China’s battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) will build a factory in the German state of Thuringia, establishing a European base for supplying carmakers including BMW, three sources said on Friday.

An official signing will take place at a summit in Berlin with China’s Premier Li Keqiang on July 9, two of the sources said.

CATL will produce lithium-ion cells which will be used by German carmakers for the production of battery packs for electric cars.

“The location of Thuringia... is correct,” the third source said.

CATL declined to comment. The Chancellor’s office in Berlin had no immediate comment.

BMW had confirmed late on Thursday that the carmaker had awarded a contract worth just over 1 billion euros ($1.16 billion) to CATL so the Chinese battery maker can build a factory to make cells for electric cars in Europe.

Thuringia’s Economy Ministry on Friday said it was negotiating with Chinese battery manufacturer CATL about localizing production in Thuringia.

“As far as we know, several locations across Europe are being considered for such an investment. These discussions have not been concluded,” it said.

BMW Chief Executive Harald Krueger told Handelsblatt in an interview published on the Germany daily paper’s website late on Thursday that the carmaker had awarded CATL a battery supply contract for Europe. ($1 = 0.8590 euros) (Reporting by Edward Taylor in Frankfurt, Sun Yilei in London and Markus Wacket in Berlin)