Italvolt Spa, founded by Lars Carlstrom to create one of the largest gigafactories in Europe, has signed an agreement with Prelios Sgr, manager of Fondo Monteverdi, for the purchase of an area of one million square meters. The purchased land is located in the municipality of Scarmagno, which is in Italy’s second largest region of Piedmont, where the former Olivetti factory stood.
Italvolt’s gigafactory, which once fully operational, is destined to become one of Europe’s largest production and storage sites of lithium batteries for electric vehicles, with a planned capacity of 45 GWh. This represents one of the most important and largest industrial investment projects in Italy in modern times, involving an overall investment of around 3.4 billion euros.
The site in Scarmagno has been selected for its existing infrastructure and strategic geographical location in terms of good road and rail connections. The site will be able to leverage Piedmont’s productive capability, the leading region in Italy for automotive industrial production. The land will be reclaimed and repurposed by Italvolt, dedicating an area of 300 thousand square meters to constructing the new plant. Out of this, 20 thousand square meters will be dedicated to creating a Research & Development centre.
The next step for Italvolt is obtaining building permits by the beginning of 2022 so work can begin in the second half of the year. Pininfarina’s Architecture Division will design the new plant with a strong focus on environmental and social impact. Pininfarina intends to develop a new generation industrial plant integrated into the economic and social fabric of the region.
Lars Carlstrom, CEO and Founder of Italvolt, stated: “The agreement with Prelios Sgr represents a crucial step in the implementation plan of our gigafactory project. We are delighted to have concluded the purchase of the land with input from local authorities. In recent months they have made a significant contribution to the promotion of Italvolt’s project. The decommissioned site offers excellent potential to restore the local industrial heritage, offering jobs and environmental improvements.”
In the first half of 2021, the electric mobility industry saw a significant increase in growth, not only in Europe but globally. In Italy, for instance, in the first six months of 2021, registrations of electric and plug-in hybrid cars quadrupled, compared to the same period last year. As a result, the demand for lithium-ion batteries in Europe is expected to grow at a rate of 24% per year, driven by electric mobility exceeding 1,200 GWh in 2035.
Lars Carlstrom added: “We are proud to be the promoters of a project that will become one of the largest gigafactories in Southern Europe. We are certain that this will pave the way for new industrial initiatives dedicated to battery production. To achieve the challenging goal, set by the European Commission, to complete the transition towards a zero-emission automotive industry by 2035, it is necessary to accelerate battery production, and Italvolt is ready to do its part.”
Patrick Del Bigio, CEO of Prelios Sgr, commented: “We are very pleased with the result achieved. The area that hosted the historic Olivetti will come back to life in the following months with a new industrial project focused on the business of electric mobility, which today presents itself as a highly strategic and innovative sector, just as Olivetti was in the 1960s in the IT sector. Therefore, the industrial heritage of the site remains intact with important socio-economic developments that will derive from the focus on green industrialization. With this focus, Prelios SGR has also been particularly committed and has contributed to the operation’s success, working in close coordination with representatives of the public administration and all the other actors involved, as well as defining the best value of the real estate asset.”
Andrea Tronzano, Councillor for the Budget of the Piedmont Region, said: “This is a moment of great excitement for Piedmont. This step is extraordinarily important for the Canavese area and beyond and demonstrates Italvolt’s willingness to build the battery factory on schedule. Piedmont wants a gigafactory, and this news can only give us great pleasure. Now we will support the business plans through helping government access the resources of Pnrr.”
Certain administrative matters associated with the agreement are expected to be met within 12 months from the signing.
On legal matters, Italvolt was assisted by Dentons, with a team led by Managing Partner Federico Sutti and composed of Partner Federico Vanetti and Associates Lorenzo Ugolini and Cristina Garlaschelli. GDP assisted Prelios Sgr – Studio Legale e Tributario with a team led by Founding Partner Prof. Andrea Gemma, with Partner Elisabetta Mattozzi and Managing Associate Chiara Adele Pero.
Italvolt is building a Gigafactory with a 45 GWh production capacity for battery cells in Saramango, Italy. Our key goal is to contribute to the green industrialization by becoming one of the main suppliers of green batteries in Europe and establishing Italy’s presence as a preeminent battery manufacturer. This also means playing our part in the circular economy and ultimately the regeneration of natural resources. Italvolt is also concerned with the rejuvenation of a historical power house of industry with ESG aspects at the forefront of its strategy and this includes creating an eco-valley of research and innovation through our 20,000 m2 advanced R&D centre. People, community and education are of particular importance with an open platform factory design that engages and involves local residents and that provides growth alongside a sustainable future.
PRELIOS SGR is the Prelios Group’s fund manager. One of the leading Italian real-estate fund and asset managers, it promotes and manages alternative investment funds (investment funds and SICAFs) and separate accounts, and provides advisory services for major national and international investors on the formulation and execution of the best movable and immovable asset investment and management strategies across Italy. At December 2020, Prelios SGR had assets under management for approximately 6.4 billion Euro through 38 alternative investment funds, including one umbrella fund, and two SICAFs.
Prelios SGR is a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment network, which works for the integration into investment practices of the six responsible investment principles incorporating environmental, social and corporate governance issues.