Northvolt gets go-ahead for Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery factory

Battery cell maker Northvolt has received the environmental permit for what will be Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery cell factory, with the initial phase of construction to begin on Friday June 8.

The permit was issued for the first section of the factory, in Skellefteå in the north of Sweden, which will be completed in 2020 and produce eight gigawatt cell capacity per year. The full factory will be ready in 2023 and produce at least 32 GWh annually when it reaches full capacity.

“Today marks another major milestone for Northvolt and the battery value chain that is starting to take shape in Europe. We will start construction in Skellefteå tomorrow, which means that we are well-positioned to keep our timeline,” Northvolt chief executive officer and co-founder Peter Carlsson said.

According to Northvolt, the factory will produce the world’s greenest battery, “with a minimal carbon footprint and the highest ambitions for recycling, to enable and accelerate the European transition to renewable energy.”

The use of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles (EVs) has driven expectations for increased demand and has started to put pressure on the supply chain.
In April, the company started to build a research facility to develop, test and industrialize lithium-ion battery cells before large-scale production. This facility will start production in 2019.

Since launch in March 2017, Northvolt has entered into industrial partnerships with ABB, Nemaska Lithium, Scania, SECI, Siemens, Skellefteå Kraft and Vestas, and has also been selected by Epiroc as a supplier of battery systems for zero-emissions mining machines.

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