Freyr, the Norwegian battery manufacturer, planning a 32 GWh battery cell factory in Norway, is also considering building production capacity in North America. There is talk of potentially setting up a joint venture with an unnamed “large multinational industrial group”.
This is according to stock exchange documents filed by Freyr and its SPAC partner Alussa Energy Acquisition Corp. Both companies are reportedly merging for the purpose of going public in the US. Specifically, the paper states that Freyr is currently negotiating with said “large multinational industrial group” to enter into a letter of intent to form a joint venture, targeting at least 50 GWh of annual battery cell production capacity in North America by 2030.
In addition, Freyr specifies that it also wants to rely on technology from cell specialist 24M Technologies in North America, with which the company has already concluded a licensing agreement. The US spin-off is known for the development of its so-called semi-solid technology. 24M first presented its new cell design, including new manufacturing methods, in 2015.
The licence agreement between Freyr and 24M, signed at the beginning of the year, now provides for Freyr to pay 24M both upfront payments and ongoing fees. In return, the Norwegian company will receive the right to unlimited production of battery cells based on their licensor’s current and all future technologies. However, Freyr notes that the use of 24M’s process technology in the potential North American joint venture would require an amendment to the existing licensing agreement.
“It is a natural step for FREYR to include North America in our long-term plans for expanding our production of clean, low-cost and low-carbon battery cells,” expresses Freyr CEO Tom Einar Jensen. This ambition was clearly confirmed by the US Department of Energy’s call this week for immediate action to expand the US supply chain for battery materials and technologies. Freyr has strong ties to the US through technology partner 24M, its pending business combination with Alussa Energy and its listing on Wall Street, he said. “We are excited to be part of the gathering momentum in North America for battery-led green growth and decarbonization of transportation and energy systems,” Jensen said.
Freyr joins Northvolt as another Scandinavian startup aiming to build gigawatt-scale battery cell factories. The plan is to build a cell factory in Rana, Norway – while initially there was talk of a capacity of 32 GWh per year, in the latest announcements Freyr announced up to 43 GWh per year by 2025. Local hydro and wind power, among other sources, will be used to operate the plants. It aims to become “the battery cell manufacturer with the lowest life-cycle carbon footprint in the world” and will use Norway’s inherent advantages, including access to renewable energy, some of the lowest electricity prices in Europe and shorter delivery distances to key markets in Europe and the US compared to competitors from Asia, the company said in an earlier announcement.
Freyr plans to raise funds for this on the stock exchange, among other places. The company expects the SPAC deal to generate equity proceeds of approximately 850 million US dollars. The merger with Alussa Energy is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year, i.e. in the next two weeks.