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WSP’s Battery Manufacturing Plant capability in global demand

Diederik Venter_WSP Africa

WSP in Africa is helping visionary clients, including investors, manufacturers, and infrastructure providers to meet the huge and growing demand for affordable, sustainable batteries. Leveraging renewable energy, and the related energy storage solutions, is critical in achieving NetZero by 2030.

International demand for batteries is expected to increase from 185 GWh in 2020 to over 2,000 GWh by 2030, according to Statista.com. With demand on the rise in industry, from consumer electronics to electric vehicle manufacturing, the global lithium-ion battery market is projected to grow from USD 44.49 billion in 2021 to USD 193.13 billion by 2028.

WSP’s ability draws on international expertise to offer a full spectrum of world class engineering, environmental sustainability advisory and implementation services see the firm’s Battery Manufacturing Plant experts delivering projects around the globe.

Peter Hodgkinson_WSP Africa

“Our integrated teams across Sweden, United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada and India are currently involved in multiple projects – both Greenfields and Brownfields,” says Peter Hodgkinson, Director for Strategic Growth and Major Projects, WSP in Africa. “We are providing expertise from investment and strategic advisory services, site selection and due diligence, project delivery and management, integrated design approach, procurement advisory and support services, construction monitoring, commissioning management of battery manufacturing facilities, utilities and supporting infrastructure.”

“For battery plants to be viable, certain conditions must be in place,” says Hodgkinson. “Government incentives and tax relief, access to sufficient clean energy, and proximity to end-user demand are key. The current projects WSP is working on are located in Europe, the Middle East and the US, where these conditions are well met.”

The plants themselves are technically complex, requiring deep knowledge in the new generation of gigafactories, as well as specialist expertise in clean and dry room design and implementation. “WSP is recognised as a major player in the design and delivery of gigafactories, and particularly in clean and dry rooms,” says Diederik Venter, Associate Engineer and Clean and Dry Room Specialist, WSP Africa. “Our expertise has been honed across multiple industries, such as pharmaceuticals, where this kind of facility is critical to the manufacturer’s success. Applying this subject matter expertise to ensure ultra clean, dust and contaminant free, pressurised and temperature- and humidity-controlled environments is critical to the battery manufacturing process.”

Battery design, and therefore the design of battery plants, is a rapidly evolving industry. “We believe that to truly drive industry growth, it’s essential to embrace innovation, future-readiness and prepare for the changing landscape. We therefore collaborate closely with clients to ensure their battery manufacturing plants are designed with scalability and adaptability in mind,” says Venter. “The engineers working on these projects must be able to deal with frequent and rapid change without compromising on quality. Our teams’ experience in automotive manufacturing, rapid structural prototyping, sustainability and circularity allows us to bring all these areas of specialist knowledge into play so that we can meet the demands of these often-complex projects.”

Sustainability lies at the core of WSP’s ethos, and our engineering solutions are no exception. Venter shares, “We take immense pride in delivering environmentally responsible solutions. By optimising energy consumption and implementing eco-friendly technologies, we help our clients reduce their carbon footprint.”

As the world embraces clean energy alternatives, WSP’s commitment to engineering excellence and environmental responsibility stands as a testament to our dedication to creating a greener, more sustainable future. Through our innovative Clean & Dry Room solutions and unwavering focus on future readiness, we are instrumental in shaping the battery industry’s growth and success.

Keeping circular economy principles in mind is vital to ensuring battery manufacturing plants support clients’ environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. “We make a point of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials at their highest possible value, and regenerating natural systems,” says Hodgkinson. “This helps to drive clean growth, preserve natural capital and reduce waste, achieve net zero goals, reduce cost and improve industrial resilience.”

“The goal is to eliminate value leakage across the resource lifecycle, whilst creating industrial symbioses and regenerating natural capital,” Hodgkinson explains. “One brownfields project is located on the site of an old papermill, for example, and here we are working with our client towards an integrated solution that reuses as much of the existing buildings, services and equipment at the facility as possible with the aim of potentially attaining Living Building accreditation.”

Though environmental considerations are extremely important to WSP and its clients in this space, Hodgkinson points out that social and governance factors should be taken into account as well. “This same project will create much-needed job opportunities in the community surrounding the new plant, which suffered major job losses and unemployment when the paper mill was closed. It’s a powerful example of how the green and circular economy can revive communities.”

With its wide range of specialists, WSP is able to support clients as they strive to provide the world with sustainable energy storage solutions. “It is an exciting and challenging space to be working in and we are proud of the contribution we can make in supporting the green transition of the sector,” concludes Hodgkinson.

WSP in Africa is hiring! To find out more about available opportunities, check out the Careers page on our website or look out for updates on our LinkedIn page, @WSPinAfrica.

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