Northvolt selects locations in Sweden for large battery factory, R&D
Västerås bridge. Author: Kalle Gustafsson.
Northvolt AB, the Swedish company that is to build a huge lithium-ion battery factory at home, has chosen the municipalities of Skellefteå and Västerås for its facilities.
The energy storage firm said Thursday the optimal solution is to locate the factory in Skellefteå, which is part of a raw material and mining cluster in the north of Sweden with significant local experience in process manufacturing and recycling, and establish the main research and development (R&D) operations in Västerås.
Northvolt studied eight Swedish and two Finnish municipalities before selecting Skellefteå and Västerås.
The battery factory will have an annual capacity of 32 GWh, once completed in 2023. Northvolt says it will support the European transition to renewable energy. Construction is planned to kick off in the second half of next year and the goal is to have a quarter of the plant operational in 2020, producing 8 GWh worth of battery capacity. The site will include active material preparation, cell assembly, recycling and auxiliaries. Roughly 2,000 to 2,500 jobs will be created in Skellefteå.
The R&D unit in Västerås will include a demonstration line which will be used to qualify and industrialise products and processes. Construction of the line will commence in 2018 and is be completed in 2019. Northvolt expects to employ 300 to 400 people there.
Västerås is home to Swiss-based power and automation group ABB (VTX:ABBN) which is supporting the lithium-ion battery factory project with certain solutions and is also an investor through ABB Technology Ventures. In addition, ABB and Northvolt intend to partner in the development of battery products.
“[That operational set up] meets the fundamental requirements for a large-scale battery factory, such as access to energy, infrastructure and skilled labour. It will also enable us to leverage a world-class electrification cluster to develop green and cost-efficient batteries together with our customers and partners,” said founder and CEO Peter Carlsson.