After determining that its current plants meet its global battery output plan, Nissan has decided to suspend a 156 million euro ($206 million) plant project that is located in debt-ridden Portugal. Nissan had planned to begin the output of electric vehicle batteries in the later part of 2012.
Spokesman Antonio Pereira-Joaquim said that the volume from Nissan’s four existing electric car plants, two of which are in Europe, was enough for its requirements. He said that the company has studied its battery output capacity and concluded that its four plants can produce what’s expected to be made by five plants.
He explained that the Portuguese plant project was suspended because it is the only one that isn’t beside a Nissan car plant. Its two plants in Europe -- Sunderland in England and Flins in France -- are both next to car factories. Portugal, which is facing its worst recession since it had returned to democracy in 1974, has cut spending under a 78 billion euro bailout.
The Portuguese plant was supposed to be built in Aveiro and it would have created 200 jobs. It’s designed to be one of the main battery supply bases for both Nissan and Renault's EVs, beginning with the Nissan's Leaf model that was launched in late 2010.
Its goal was to reach an annual output of 50,000 batteries for local use and export by 2015. Pereira-Joaquim said that the project is “suspended without a date for reactivation.” He said that the company will examine other options for the building that has already been put up.