BOI wraps up China roadshow with at least 2 firms planning factories in Thailand


At least two battery manufacturers from China are planning to set up production bases in Thailand this year, the Board of Investment (BOI) said.

This remark was made after the agency held a roadshow in China to meet seven battery manufacturers from April 7 to 10.

Narit Theodsatheerasak, BOI secretary-general, said on Wednesday the companies showed interest in the agency’s measures to support investment in manufacturing battery cells for electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage systems.

“All companies agreed that Thailand has various strong points, especially its clear and continuous policies to promote the EV industry, which would boost the demand for batteries in the future,” he said.

The companies the BOI delegation met were Contemporary Amperex Technology, CALB, IBT, Eve Energy, Gotion High-tech, Sunwoda and SVOLT Energy Technology.

Narit said these firms had already been planning to expand outside China to match rising demand worldwide and to mitigate risks of geopolitical conflicts.

Of the seven manufacturers, two are planning first phase production capacity of 6-10 gigawatt-hours in Thailand with a total investment of over 30 billion baht.

The other companies, meanwhile, queried options of setting up joint ventures in Thailand and wanted to review their investment strategy because they only plan to produce battery packs and modules, he added.

“Some manufacturers are setting up battery manufacturing outfits in Europe and the US, and their next target is ASEAN,” he said. “Hence, Thailand needs to focus on attracting investments and collaborating with these manufacturers.”

Narit said battery cells are the core of the EV industry, which requires advanced technology as well as knowledge of chemistry and materials science.

Battery cells determine an EV’s efficiency and the maximum distance it can run, he said.

Thailand should have several large battery cell factories in the next two years, which he said will be another milestone in its journey to building a strong EV sector in the long term.