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Norwegians plan to build a 32 GWh battery cell plant

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  • Norwegians plan to build a 32 GWh battery cell plant

    Norwegians plan to build a 32 GWh battery cell plantThe newly founded Norwegian company Morrow Batteries plans to build a battery cell factory for electric cars. In the final expansion, this should have a capacity of 32 GWh. The first of the four planned expansion stages, each with 8 GWh, should be completed in 2024.

    The emerging European battery cell production is receiving a new player: Morrow Batteries announces that it plans to build a cell factory with a research center in Agder in southern Norway. The location has intentionally moved as close as possible to the major European auto nations. Because the main focus should be on the production of battery cells for European electric cars. According to the initiators, work on the site will begin in 2021. The project is supported, among other things, by funds from the EU research program Horizon 2020.

    First of all, Morrow Batteries wants to manufacture cells based on existing technologies. In the further expansion stages of the system, “next-generation battery cell technology” will also be used. The language is from the development and industrialization of novel lithium-sulfur battery cells.

    Behind the new battery company is a union of a number of Norwegian players. The newly founded company is owned by the Norwegian energy group Agder Energi and the large entrepreneur Bjørn Rune Gjelstens, who among other things owns the waste management company Noah AS. The environmental organization Bellona is also known as the initiator and founder. The partners of the project also include the research institute SINTEF, the business development agency Innovation Norway, the so-called Eyde cluster and several raw material suppliers.

    Morrow Batteries wants to benefit from the upcoming boom in the electric car industry and at the same time prove that battery cell manufacturing can be a sustainable industry. "We need to build alternative industries to oil and gas and be able to turn things around," said Terje Andersen, CEO of Morrow Batteries, in a media report. In Agder, the initiators of the project have access to energy from hydropower, among other things. Morrow Batteries also plans to use old materials from the Norwegian oil industry for the lithium-sulfur battery cells. The value chain should explicitly differ from that in Asia.

    According to the SINTEF research institute in Norway, around 10,000 new jobs could be created if 2.5 percent of the European battery cell market were to be conquered. There should be enough skilled workers, since the region has long been home to several electrochemical companies. According to Agder Energi, it also has access to a network of suppliers of critical raw materials. Morrow Batteries thus fulfills "a solid foundation for the rapid start of mass production", it says.

    The Norwegian environmental activist Frederic Hauge, head of the Bellona Foundation, which he co-founded in 1986, supports the company's claim to build one of the most environmentally friendly battery cell factories in the world. "I am convinced that if we want to stop the escalating climate crisis, the world must ensure a stable supply of energy from renewable energy sources such as sun and wind as soon as possible," said Hauge. "Sustainable options for energy storage are a decisive factor for this stability, which is why we initiated this project."

    Norway is considered a model country for electromobility. The registration numbers regularly show an electric car share beyond the 50 percent mark. The Norwegian initiative to build a battery cell factory flanks the previously announced projects by Volkswagen and Northvolt in Salzgitter and by Northvolt in Skellefteå, Sweden alone . While the latter factory will start in 2021 with a capacity of 32 GWh and will be expanded to 40 GWh by 2024, the plant in Salzgitter is expected to be equipped with a production capacity of 16 GWh and later of 24 GWh by the end of 2023. There are also initiatives in France, which is supposed to compete with the Asian manufacturers, who in turn - like CATL in Erfurt - are fighting for their market share.

    forbes.com , batteryindustry.tech , thedriven.io , ae.no (in Norwegian), businessportal-norwegen.com (in German)
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