Freyr considers building battery plant in Finland

The Norwegian company Freyr is taking the first steps towards constructing another battery cell factory – this time in Finland. For this, Freyr has signed two non-binding letters of intent with the Finnish Minerals Group and the Finnish city of Vaasa.

++ This article has been updated, please continue reading below. ++

The letter of intent with the city of Vaasa grants Freyr the exclusive right to a 90-hectare plot of land for the potential battery cell plant. More details, such as potential capacity, will be determined in the further process. However, Freyr speaks of a planned production “on an industrial scale”. The Nordic region offers competitive advantages for sustainable, low-carbon battery cell production on a large scale through low-cost renewable energy, a local supply of battery raw materials and a highly skilled workforce.

“Developing strong regional value chains for the supply of sustainable, low-carbon battery materials to our planned factories in Norway and potential factories in the Nordic region with short-travelled materials is a key element of Freyr’s ambition of providing battery cells produced with the industry’s lowest CO2-footprint and high ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) standards to all our customers,” comments Torstein Dale Sjøtveit, Founder and Executive Chairman of Freyr.

Just a few weeks ago, Freyr made a final investment decision to build its first battery cell production line in Rana, Norway. The so-called CQP production line (Customer Qualification Plant) is scheduled to operate in the second half of 2022. The company intends to use this production to manufacture sample cells for potential customers. As part of its licensing agreement with the cell specialist 24M Technologies, Freyr is relying on the latter’s semi-solid technology. The CQP production will be set up in the Mo Industrial Park in Rana. Rana is located in the north of the country, about halfway between Trondheim and Bodø. Freyr has not yet named the capacity of the CQP production. Earlier reports spoke of 2 GWh.

For its factory for the series production of battery cells, also planned in Rana and first announced in 2019, Freyr also mentions a new capacity again. Originally planned for 32 GWh, the factory is now to have a capacity for 35 GWh by 2025. In the meantime, there was talk of 40 or even 43 GWh.

However, the latter figure could soon be true, at least for Norway. Freyr wants to build up another 8 GWh of production capacity through joint ventures in Norway – which, together with the 35 GWh from its factory in Rana, would add up to 43 GWh. After 2025, the Finnish plans should also be included in the calculation: Freyr is already aiming for a total capacity of up to 83 GWh in Europe by 2028.

In addition, Freyr is also considering building production capacity in North America through a joint venture with an unnamed “large multinational industrial group”. The North American plans are part of Freyr’s IPO, which is to take place via a merger with Alussa Energy Acquisition Corporation.

Update 19 May 2022

Freyr is going ahead with the plans for the new battery cell factory in Vaasa, Finland. The non-binding letter of intent with the city of Vaasa mentioned above has now materialised into a leasing contract. Freyr leases a 130-hectare site from the town (40 hectares more than initially planned). This land could host the future battery cell factory.

The lease initially runs from 1 May 2022 to 31 December 2023, with an option to extend for one year, and will allow Freyr to begin land investigations and preparatory work as a prelude to possible construction. The environmental impact assessment for the project is expected to be completed before the end of 2022. At this point, the investment decision for Finland’s first gigawatt-hour-scale battery cell factory will be made.

Additional reporting by Stefan Köller and Nora Manthey., (update May ’22)


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