Northern Norway battery maker plans giga-factory, New York stock listing

FREYR Battery expected to receive $850 million to build a giant battery factory just under the Arctic Circle

FREYR

Photo: Thomas Nilsen
FREYR has offices both in Oslo and in Mo i Rana (pictured above).

THOMAS NILSEN
The Barents Observer

The Norwegian company FREYR Battery  announced on Jan. 27 that it had entered into a business agreement with Alussa Energy Acquisition Corporation, a blank-check company with executives with backgrounds from the oil and gas industry. The new business, which aims to become one of Europe’s largest battery-cell suppliers, will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in the second quarter of 2021.

Meanwhile, a giant battery factory will be built in Mo i Rana, the largest industrial town in northern Norway.

Without revealing details about its technology, FREYR proclaims to be highly competitive, with next-generation semi-solid battery cells. Pointing to Norway’s renewable energy production, the company says its ambition is to become the battery-cell producer with the lowest lifecycle carbon footprint in the world.

That, however, remains to be seen. Several other startups in Norway are already in the pipeline with similar ambitions. In northern Sweden, the Northvolt giga-battery factory is expected to commence large-scale production later this year, with a plan to ramp up capacity to at least 32 GWh production by 2024.

Northvolt’s production will be powered by 100% renewables, like hydropower and wind power from northern Sweden.

Production of batteries in Scandinavia has one big advantage over competitors in Asia: delivery distance to main markets in the European car industry is much shorter.

FREYR says its solutions will address the rapidly growing global markets for electric vehicles, energy storage, and marine applications, representing an estimated addressable market of about 5,000 GWh per year by 2030.

Torstein Dale Sjøtveit, founder of FREYR, is pleased with the new partnership.

“The capital raise and NYSE listing add further momentum to our progress and positions us as a catalyst for European battery-cell production and the Nordic battery ecosystem. We see this transaction as a strong confirmation of FREYR’s growth potential enabled by cutting-edge technology and access to clean renewable energy,” Sjøtveit said.

FREYR

Photo: FREYR Battery / Flickr
The new battery factory could be located at Mo Industrial Park in Mo i Rana in northern Norway.

Mo i Rana already has one of the largest industrial parks in Norway, developed after the shutdown of the state-owned iron and steel production in the late 1980s. The surrounding region has some of the largest hydropower plants in Europe, and plans exist for new wind parks to provide additional electricity.

A European Commission strategic action plan for battery production estimates that Europe could capture a battery market of up to $303 billion a year from 2025 onward.

Electrification of the transport sector is highlighted as key to solving the climate crisis. Carmakers are rapidly switching production from fossil fuel to battery-powered vehicles.

On Jan. 38, General Motors said it will stop making gasoline-powered cars, vans, and sport utility vehicles by 2035. Norway has a goal that all new-sold cars should be zero-emission by 2025.

Today, there are some 5 million battery and hybrid-powered vehicles globally, a number the International Energy Agency projects will raise to 140 million by 2030.

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 26, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

Andy Meyer

Andy Meyer is a literature and language teacher with over 15 years of experience in colleges, universities, and independent high schools. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington and teaches Norwegian there. In 2015-2016, he was a Fulbright Roving Scholar in Norway.

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