Tesla plans to build cathode building at Texas Gigafactory

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The Tesla logo is seen on a car in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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AUSTIN, Texas, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) on Wednesday applied for a permit to extend its existing Austin-based car factory with a building to produce cathodes for battery manufacturing, according to city filings and a spokeswoman.

An application submitted on Wednesday for an Austin building permit under the program name "Cathode" listed the Colorado River Project LLC as a co-applicant. That is the name Tesla has used throughout the permitting process for its new Texas factory on the state and local level.

"I can confirm that this is for the Tesla project and this permit is for a cathode building," a spokeswoman for the city's development services department said on Thursday, adding that the city did not have further information.

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News site Electrek first reported on the filing on Thursday.

The new building would extend Tesla's existing vehicle factory located on the eastern outskirts of Austin near the airport. According to the city filing, it would have the size of nearly 1.6 million square feet.

The electric carmaker began manufacturing vehicles at the factory on the eastern outskirts of Austin earlier this year. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk in September said Tesla plans to build a cathode facility as part of its battery cell production plant.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on Jan. 20 approved Tesla's vehicle manufacturing site. The carmaker still has several other permits pending with the commission, which needs to provide air quality permits for polluting manufacturing sites.

In 2020 filings with the Commission, Tesla said its emissions sources for battery cell production would include anode and cathode mixing dust.

Cathodes are the single most expensive component of a battery and producing them requires lots of space and emits large quantities of CO2 emissions.

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Reporting by Tina Bellon in Austin, Texas Editing by Alistair Bell

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