Saft Selected for DOE Funding for Li-ion Battery Factory of the Future

PARIS, August 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

- Saft Will Receive $95.5m Grant From US Department of Energy Subject to Successful Contract Negotiation

Saft, world leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-end batteries for industry and defence, announces that it has been selected to receive a grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funding is for a high-volume manufacturing plant to build advanced lithium-ion cells and batteries for military hybrid vehicles, aviation, smart grid support, broadband backup power and energy storage for renewable energy.

The plant is planned for Jacksonville, Florida and should create an estimated 800 jobs over the next three years. The company is also working with the economic development agencies of the State of Florida and the city of Jacksonville to finalise a package of additional support measures available, such as incentive programmes for capital investment and job creation. Thomas Alcide, President of Saft America, Inc. said "This investment in America will allow Saft to build a state of the art factory for lithium ion batteries which will bring high technology jobs to Jacksonville rapidly and make us competitive on the world markets."

Subject to successful negotiation of contracts with the DOE, the State of Florida and the city of Jacksonville, Saft will begin investment in the new plant immediately. Saft's state of the art manufacturing facility will ensure that competitive battery solutions will be imminently available to the U.S. and world markets from this Jacksonville, Florida facility.

"I am very pleased with today's award announcement" declared John Searle, Saft's CEO, "We see an increasing demand for our advanced lithium-ion technology in the United States and elsewhere in the coming years, and it is important for us to have a cost competitive, domestic manufacturing base for that technology in addition to our existing long-established battery facilities which have been serving the US defence and industrial markets for over 40 years."

About Saft

Saft batteries are used in high-performance applications such as industrial infrastructure and processes, transportation, space and defence. Saft is the world's leading manufacturer of nickel-cadmium batteries for industrial applications and of primary lithium batteries for a wide range of end markets. The group is also the European leader for specialized advanced technologies for the defence and space industries. With approximately 4,000 employees worldwide, Saft is present in 18 countries. Its 15 manufacturing sites and extensive sales network enable the group to serve its customers worldwide. Saft is listed in the SBF 120 index on the Paris Stock Market. For more information, visit Saft at