FREYR expands Norwegian plant plans, government agrees to support

FREYR Battery is set to move forward with the construction of its first battery gigafactory in Norway, having received assurances of financial and strategic support from the country’s government.

The Norway-headquartered battery cell manufacturing startup said it had sanctioned the construction of Giga Arctic and confirmed it would have access to more than $1.6 billion in funding through loan.

The company’s announcement came yesterday as the Norwegian government announced a new National Battery Strategy Policy at the offices of FREYR Battery. Like neighboring Finland, Norway has decided to promote local industries in the battery value chain.

The country’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries said its 10-step plan could help unlock opportunities for the industry with a turnover of NOK 90 billion ($9.02 billion). dollars) by 2030 (see the version here, in norwegian language only).

As part of this strategy, the Norwegian export credit agency Export Finance Norway (Eksfin) has indicated that it will support FREYR with up to 400 million euros (418 million dollars) in guarantees, loans or a combination of both.

FREYR has already entered into major off-take agreements with a number of customers in the stationary battery energy storage industry, some of which have been named, such as a 28.5 GWh agreement with US manufacturer Powin and a 19 GWh deal with Honeywell, along with others who did not.

While a large majority of initial demand is likely to come from the electric vehicle (EV) sector, which is booming in Norway and growing in Europe and other territories, in an interview with this site in March, FREYR CEO Tom Einar Jensen said that up to half of its products could be sold in the energy storage systems (ESS) sector over time.

Securing funding has allowed the company to accelerate its production plans: Giga Arctic will target annual production capacity of 29 GWh, while a target of 200 GWh of annual capacity for 2030 will be achieved through expansions and other new facilities that FREYR intends to build.

The original plan was to build two smaller factories on the Mo i Rana town site, but these will be consolidated into one site. FREYR estimates that the construction and commissioning of the Giga Arctic plant will require a total investment of approximately US$1.7 billion. The company noted that factors such as supply chain constraints and inflation have driven up expected costs since the plans were first announced.

FREYR also recently signed a Renewable Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Norwegian state-owned energy company Stakraft, and entered into material supply agreements with companies like Glencore.

The manufacturer aims to run all its production on renewable energy and has teamed up with the American battery technology platform company 24M, which has developed a process for manufacturing batteries with so-called SemiSolid electrodes, aimed at producing more energy-dense cells at lower cost and with less power consumption required.

In his March interview with this site, CEO Jensen said FREYR Battery’s initial production lines would produce lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells but would retain the option of adding nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) manufacturing capability. ).

However, a press release sent yesterday to noted that the initially planned production capacity in the first two gigafactories would be NMC. A request for clarification from the company had not received a response at the time of publication.

China’s Gotion to manufacture ESS and EV products at 18 GWh site in Germany

Separately, this week, Chinese battery company Gotion High-Tech announced that it will establish production bases in Germany that will manufacture LFP products for the stationary energy storage and e-mobility markets.

Along with the launch of a range of “portable” home battery energy storage products, the company announced that it would build up to 18 GWh of annual generation capacity at its existing site in the university town of Göttingen in Lower Saxony, in two phases.

Preparation of the brownfield site for construction will begin before the end of this year, and initial production of 3.5 GWh will be commissioned by September 2023, before subsequent phases take this to 6 GWh and then add 12 GWh additional.

By 2025, Gotion High-Tech aims to have 300 GWh of generation capacity worldwide, including approximately 100 GWh in overseas territories such as Germany.

Meanwhile, LG Energy Solution has revealed that it plans to invest in an electric vehicle battery production plant in Arizona. The plant is one of several the Korean company is commissioning in the United States. Reuters, which flagged the company’s potential change of heart this week, said analysts it spoke with believed rising inflation was likely the main cause.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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