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Volkswagen Group and SEAT intend to invest £8.5 billion in the construction of a new gigafactory in Spain.

The £8.5 billion, 200-hectare gigafactory in Sagunto, Valencia, will have an annual capacity of 40GWh and will provide batteries for the group's Martorell and Pamplona factories.

Construction is planned to begin in the first quarter of 2023, with battery manufacturing beginning in 2026.

According to VW, it would employ more than 3,000 employees by 2030.

Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, called it ‘the biggest industrial investment ever made in Spain’.

He visited the Parc Sagunt II site with Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sánchez, Valencian Generalitat president Ximo Puig, Seat president Wayne Griffiths, and Thomas Schmall, VW board member for technology and Seat board chairman.

Diess added: ‘This investment of 10bn euros will electrify Spain and Europe’s second-largest automotive manufacturer, creating a battery gigafactory in Sagunto, enabling the production of electric vehicles at the Martorell and Pamplona plants, and building up a comprehensive supplier ecosystem.’

The Sagunto location will be the third of six gigafactories planned for Europe by the consortium, with two previously committed for Germany and Sweden.

The energy for the Valencia gigafactory will also be 100% renewable, with a 250-hectare solar plant just over six miles away from the supplying power.

VW claims that in the first phase, it will supply 20% of the gigafactory's total energy.

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