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Northvolt converts closed paper mill into Gigafactory

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Northvolt converts closed paper mill into Gigafactory.

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The Gigafactory is expected to be operational by the end of 2024 and will use 100% clean energy to produce up to 100 Gigawatt hours of cathode material for battery assembly at multiple Northvolt facilities.

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Northvolt and Stora Enso this week announced the signing of a letter of intent to acquire the Kvarnsveden plant and surrounding industrial area in Borlänge, Sweden. Northvolt will develop the site into an active materials and battery manufacturing facility, reusing and refurbishing most of the existing equipment and site infrastructure.

The Gigafactory is expected to begin its first tranche of operations by the end of 2024 and will employ up to 1,000 people and use 100 percent of the region’s clean energy. The fully developed site will have a potential annual production capacity of over 100 Gigawatt hours of cathode material for battery assembly at multiple Northvolt facilities. The site will also include cell production.

Peter Carlsson, co-founder and CEO of Northvolt, commented: “Since Northvolt’s inception, we have focused on cycle battery production, but this is the first time we have repurposed an entire manufacturing plant. Kvarnsveden owns the region’s energy, industrial water and a wide range of production technologies, it is the perfect location to build a gigafactory. We are delighted to start a new chapter in Borlänge’s history as a global industrial hub.”

Founded in 1900, the mill has been producing pulp and paper for more than 120 years until it closed in 2021, laying off more than 400 jobs. The agreement is the result of Stora Enso’s firm commitment to finding the best long-term solution for its former employees and the city of Borlänge. Key management personnel at the Kvarnsveden site will remain during the transition to fully utilize the current infrastructure and enable a rapid transformation.

“Sustainability is Stora Enso’s top priority and must be addressed even in difficult times. Therefore, since our decision to close the site, a key focus has been finding a new owner who can continue to Stora Enso La Enso’s long-term and sustainable legacy in Kvarnsveden to benefit the local community. Like Stora Enso, Northvolt offers modern and innovative solutions that contribute to a climate-friendly future. This agreement makes Kvarnsveden and Northvolt a strong base for growth and further development for the city of Borlänge,” says Per Lyrvall, Stora Enso Sweden Regional Manager.

The project advances Northvolt’s mission to provide the world’s greenest lithium-ion batteries and establish a sustainable battery supply to decarbonize society. The facility will play a key role in fulfilling major customer orders worth more than $50 billion and integrate into a wider European manufacturing network that is being developed with partners in Sweden, Norway, Poland, Germany and Portugal.

“There is a huge global demand for sustainable, high-quality lithium-ion batteries and systems. With the blueprint developed by Northvolt Labs and Northvolt Ett, we will now move to production at a faster and larger scale than ever before,” said Peter Carlsson .

Northvolt is a European supplier of sustainable, high quality batteries and systems. Founded in 2016 to enable Europe’s transition to a decarbonized future, the company has made rapid progress on its mission to deliver the world’s greenest lithium-ion batteries with a minimal carbon footprint and has grown to 2,500 employees from more than 100 different countries.

The company was founded in 2015 as SGF Energy by former Tesla Motors executive Peter Carlsson (current CEO). In 2017, the company changed its name to Northvolt.

It was established to provide electric vehicle batteries to the automotive industry.

In May 2019, the European Investment Bank provided a loan of SEK 3.5 billion (approximately EUR 350 million). Maroš Šefčovič, then the European Commissioner for Energy, stated: “I welcome the strong support proposed by the European Investment Bank for Northvolt’s Gigafactory as a stepping stone to the establishment of a competitive, sustainable and innovative value chain for mass-manufactured batteries in Europe.

In June of the same year, companies including BMW Group, Volkswagen Group, Goldman Sachs and Folksam announced investments in the company. The total investment totals $1 billion to challenge the dominance of Tesla Inc and Asian companies such as Toyota and Nissan in the electric vehicle battery market.

The company started building a battery factory in Skellefteå, Sweden, with the goal of starting production of electric vehicle batteries in 2021.

In 2019, Volkswagen and Northvolt announced the construction of a second plant in Salzgitter, Germany, scheduled to start production in 2023-2024. The goal is to start production at 16 GWh and increase it to 24 GWh.

In May 2020, Volkswagen announced that it will mainly build its own factory and invest 450 million euros in construction. On July 16, 2020, it was announced that Northvolt had signed a €2 billion agreement with BMW, under which Northvolt would supply batteries from 2024.

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Northvolt converts closed paper mill into gigafactory
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