China's CATL Enacts 'Closed Loop Management' at Factory to Fight COVID

China's CATL

Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology has implemented a so-called “closed-loop management” system at its main factory to keep production going as the country battles an Omicron wave of the coronavirus.

The southern Chinese city of Ningde, where CATL is headquartered, has tightened prevention and control efforts because of a spate of COVID-19 cases, the company said in a statement on Monday.

“For the moment, to ensure market supply to the best of our capabilities, we have adopted strict grid management measures for the orderly operation of Ningde production base,” said CATL, the world’s largest supplier of electric car batteries to automakers like Tesla.

A representative for the company added that they started the system on Saturday evening, and had made arrangements for key workers, who do not usually stay in dormitories within the factory’s premises, to live there during this period.

China’s “closed loop management” process is akin to a bubble-like arrangement, which workers sleep, live and work in isolation to prevent virus transmission. A similar system was used at the Winter Olympics in Beijing to seal event personnel off from the public.

General Motors’ joint venture in Shanghai has maintained production through the city’s lockdown by implementing such an arrangement at its factory, Reuters reported late last month.

China is battling an Omicron wave which has prompted it to lock down the financial hub of Shanghai as well as its northeastern manufacturing base of Changchun. Multiple localities have also tightened COVID control measures.

However, Tesla and Volkswagen’s Shanghai joint venture with SAIC Motor has had to suspend operations as movement curbs on the city of 25 million have continued.

SHANGHAI (Reuters)