Why did CARBON choose Fos-sur-Mer and the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille for its first gigafactory?

Why did CARBON choose Fos-sur-Mer and the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille for its first gigafactory?

CARBON has announced on March 3, 2023 the location of its first gigafactory for photovoltaic products. This gigafactory will integrate the entire value chain to produce silicon wafers, cells and photovoltaic panels. The aim is to relocate the photovoltaic industry in France and Europe to supply a market currently largely dominated by China.

The facility will be located in Fos-sur-Mer, in the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille, in the Southern Region. Over ten sites were considered before this choice was made.

The Grand Port Maritime de Marseille, the Aix-Marseille Provence metropolitan area, the city of Fos-sur-Mer and the Southern Region joined forces to identify a 60-hectare site suited to CARBON’s needs. The support of the French government was also decisive!

Renaud Muselier, President of the Southern Region (Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur) and Deputy President of Régions de France, said: “I would like to thank the Prefect of the Region, the President of the Supervisory Board of the Port of Marseille-Fos, the President of the Aix-Marseille Provence Metropolis, and all the partners for their decisive support in this matter.”

A site focused on energetic and ecological transition

This policy alignment can be partially explained by the territory’s desire to become the first pilot region for ecological planning in France.

Renaud Muselier explains: “In this case, our success is the result of a very determined attractiveness strategy, which we have undertaken as the pilot region for ecological planning in France. Planning for solutions, and planning for jobs in the Southern Region, for a positive ecology, loaded with common sense!”

Today, the industrial port area of Fos-sur-Mer (ZIP) represents 20% of national industrial emissions. The goal, supported by the State and the Southern Region, is to halve the zone’s emissions by 2032. Furthermore, the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille wishes to encourage the establishment of ecological transition industries. Solar, hydrogen, batteries, wind power… The Port of Marseille Fos now aims to consolidate the industrial fabric with the implementation of new spaces.

“Environmental performance is a differentiating factor in the competition between major ports. The Port of Marseille Fos has made it a priority for a long time, and it is the thread that runs through its actions in order to safeguard and develop its business,” explains Christophe Castaner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille.

The Grand Port Maritime de Marseille, a strategic location for CARBON’s gigafactory logistics

The Fos-sur-Mer gigafactory in Marseille’s Grand Port-Maritime will have a production capacity of 5 GW of photovoltaic cells and 3.5 GW of modules. As a logistical result, CARBON’s future gigafactory will generate a flow of about 20,000 containers a year.

CARBON was therefore looking for a site capable of handling these flows. The Grand Port Maritime, with its direct road, rail, river and sea connections, offered a highly suitable configuration.

An attractive employment area for CARBON’s first photovoltaic gigafactory

The CARBON gigafactory will create over 3,000 direct jobs beyond the construction phase. The Fos-sur-Mer gigafactory will host a variety of job profiles: operators, technicians, supervisors, engineers, managers, sales and administrative positions…

CARBON is committed to training and facilitating employment opportunities for the local population. Finding an attractive employment area was crucial. Here, the industrial company will be able to draw on the region’s already existing employment and training resources.

“In addition to the 3,000 direct jobs and the investments announced, a whole industry will emerge in the region, boosting the already existing business network.” Martine Vassal – President of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis and the Bouches-du-Rhône Department.

What is the timeline for the CARBON gigafactory?

Announcing the site of the gigafactory is a first step for the CARBON project. The plant will be operational by the end of 2025, with an industrial ramp-up in 2026.

CARBON gigafactory timeline

Calendrier giga-usine CARBON

The project is now going into its public consultation phase. This project must become a true local project, involving all stakeholders.

To find out more about the CARBON gigafactory, read the press release and the press kit in the press area.

To learn more about CARBON’s industrial project to relocate the photovoltaic industry in Europe, visit the page dedicated to the CARBON project.