French industrial start-up Carbon has selected the commune of Fos-sur-Mer, on the perimeter of the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille (GPMM), as the location for its first photovoltaics (PV) gigafactory with an investment budget of EUR 1.5 billion (USD 1.61bn).
The company said in a statement on Friday that its team conducted an in-depth study of nearly 15 sites across France before deciding to pick a 60-hectare area in Fos-sur-Mer, Region Sud, at the country’s main trade seaport. It further noted that the site benefits from direct road, rail, river and sea links, as well as attractive employment opportunities.
The plant is designed with an annual production capacity of 5 GW for PV cells and 3.5 GW for PV modules.
Carbon is now launching the public consultation phase for the project and intends to soon refer to the National Commission for Public Debate (CNDP). The plant is expected to begin operations in late 2025 and to gradually ramp up in 2026. It will create over 3,000 direct jobs on the territory.
"Carbon's announcement comes at a key moment. France and Europe must quickly reposition themselves in the photovoltaic value chain to avoid moving from one dependency to another,” commented Agnes Pannier-Runacher, Minister of Energy Transition.
Carbon’s goal is to be producing 30 GW of wafers, 20 GW of cells and 15 GW of PV modules at several gigafactories in Europe by 2030.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.072)
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