Saft, the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of high-tech industrial batteries, kicked off production at the world’s most advanced automated lithium-ion battery factory in Jacksonville, F.L. on Friday, September 16.
A packed house of distinguished guests gathered at the new plant to celebrate the grand opening and were privy to a panel of speakers that included Saft CEO, John Searle; Senator Bill Nelson; Jacksonville’s Mayor, Alvin Brown; Vice Admiral Mel Williams from the U.S. Department of Energy; and Congresswoman Corrine Brown. Unable to attend, Senator Marco Rubio sent a congratulatory statement that was read in his absence.
As a fitting finale to the formal presentation, the esteemed speakers proceeded to a row of red ignition buttons. With a single synchronized push, the panel of six set the brand new factory into motion, and as the audience applauded, a video stream broadcast on two big screen displays flanking the stage showed the machines coming to life. Comprehensive guided tours followed, giving guests a firsthand look at Saft’s 16th facility worldwide, and Searle closed the day with a toast to his company’s newest accomplishment.
Saft estimates that half of the high-volume, state-of-the-art facility will be devoted to building advanced lithium-ion cells and batteries for renewable energy storage; the other half will be dedicated to smart grid support, broadband back-up, transportation, military and other applications. With 100+ employees currently working at the plant and another 200 to be added over the next two years as production expands, Saft Jacksonville will play an important part in the development of the new-energy economy while meeting growing customer demand for high performance and competitive energy storage solutions.
For more information, visit Saft at www.saftbatteries.com.
Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Associate Editor