Last Friday, $95.5 million in stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Energy helped open Saft's 16th facility worldwide. This factory, referred to by Saft as the world's most advanced automated lithium-ion battery site, is located in Jacksonville, FL.

The Saft factory, a $200-million, 240,000-square-foot facility, will produce lithium-ion batteries for use mainly in the military and aerospace industries. Saft expects to pump out up to 700,000 batteries in 2012 and says that, by 2013, three lines will be operational and that production could jump to three million li-ion units annually.

Saft chief executive officer Jon Searle says of the Jacksonville factory:
We are going to be selling these batteries throughout the world. This is not just a factory to supply products throughout America. This is a factory to supply batteries to the whole network of Saft around the world.
For more on Saft's trick military setup, check this out. It's stealthy, that's for sure.
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Saft Launches Industrial Production at Jacksonville Lithium-Ion Battery Plant

DOE stimulus money helps fund energy storage systems creating hundreds of high-tech jobs


JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Saft, the world's leading designer and manufacturer of high-tech industrial batteries, today inaugurated the world's most advanced automated lithium-ion battery factory, in Jacksonville, Florida.

"Having a renowned international company such as Saft choose Jacksonville is a major step in building the economy of tomorrow"

This high-volume, state-of-the-art production facility is dedicated to building advanced lithium-ion cells and batteries for energy storage for renewable energy, smart grid support, broadband back-up power, transportation and defense.

Saft's 16th facility worldwide is also a unique example of technical innovation, including the production of 1 MW of solar power from the largest rooftop photovoltaic system in Florida and fully-automated, totally flexible production lines capable of building multi new-generation Li-ion technologies.

With an annual sales capacity of $300M, Saft Jacksonville will meet growing customer demand for high performance, competitive energy storage solutions and will play an important part in the development of the new-energy economy.

Saft was presented with incentives from the state of Florida and the city of Jacksonville to build the plant, and construction of the 235,000-square-foot facility was further funded by a $95.5 million federal grant from the Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

John Searle, Saft's CEO declared, "I am delighted that our most advanced facility ever is now ready to serve our customers who are demanding ever higher performance energy storage solutions. Saft's strategy is to actively address these new opportunities with our latest generation lithium-ion technology."

"Having a renowned international company such as Saft choose Jacksonville is a major step in building the economy of tomorrow," said Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown. "The new plant gives us high-tech jobs to help put Jacksonville back to work and is a great example of the good that can come from the public and private sectors working together."

"I am thrilled that Saft will be opening a facility right here in the city of Jacksonville. This is a win-win, both for the local economy in terms of job creation, and for the environment, given that the new facility will produce renewable and smart energy product," said U.S. congresswoman Corrine Brown.

"I applaud Saft's decision to call Jacksonville home," said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. "The 300 new jobs that come with this new facility will help provide a boost to the local economy."

About Saft

Saft (Euronext: Saft) is a world leader in the design and manufacture of advanced technology batteries for industry. The Group is the world's leading manufacturer of nickel batteries and primary lithium batteries for the industrial infrastructure and processes, transportation, civil and military electronics markets. Saft is the world leader in space and defence batteries with its Li-ion technologies which are also being deployed in the energy storage, transportation and telecommunication markets. Saft's 4,000 employees present in 19 countries, its 16 manufacturing sites and extensive sales network all contribute to accelerating the Group's growth for the future.


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