Battery firm to build €1.6bn gigafactory near Arctic Circle

Norwegian trade minister Jan Christian Vestre (right) with Tom Einar Jensen, Freyr’s chief executive and co-founder (Courtesy of Freyr)
Norwegian battery-maker Freyr is planning to build a €1.6bn Arctic gigafactory with the help of €400m in guarantees and loans from Eksfin, Norway’s export credit agency.

Freyr expects the plant to be one of the biggest and most efficient in Europe, with 50% lower capital spending per GWh of capacity and more than 200% higher production per employee than conventional lithium-ion facilities.

The Giga Arctic project, which will be Freyr’s first, was announced on Wednesday by Jan Christian Vestre, Norway’s minister for trade and industry.

Speaking in the town of Mo i Rana, just south of the Arctic Circle where the factory is to be built, Vestre said the scheme would boost Norway as a location for gigafactories and the whole battery manufacturing supply chain.

Battery industry growth

He said “industrial history” was being written, and added that Norway would put in place a raft of policies to encourage the growth of the battery industry. These include industrial partnerships with other countries, spending public money to pump-prime production, building relevant infrastructure.

“If Norway seizes the opportunities, the Norwegian value chain for batteries can employ tens of thousands of people and have a turnover of at least NOK90bn (€8.7bn)  by 2030,” he said.

“Global demand is growing exponentially and Norway has very good conditions for success in this race.”

In March, it was announced that Mo i Rana would extend its airport to enable it to use jets rather than propeller-driven planes.

The government is to spend €300m on that scheme, which will involve the installation of a 2.4km runway and will increase the annual number of passengers using the airport beyond its present 100,000 (see further reading).

Further reading
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