Freyr & Aleees launch LFP joint venture
The Norwegian battery company Freyr and Aleees, a Taiwanese manufacturer of LFP cathode materials, have agreed to establish a joint venture. The planned joint venture is to build an LFP cathode factory in the Nordic region.
This cathode materials factory is expected to begin operations in 2024, coinciding with the expected ramp-up of Freyr’s first Gigafactory in Mo i Rana, Norway. It will be the world’s first gigawatt-scale LFP cathode plant outside mainland China, the two companies said in the statement.
The partners plan to initially produce 10,000 tonnes of LFP cathode material per year in Scandinavia. That should be enough to supply the Freyr factory in Mo i Rana, according to the companies’ estimates. The secondary goal of the joint venture is to quickly expand to “at least 30,000 tonnes” using Aleees’ modular LFP plant design. This step is to be achieved by 2025, just one year after the start of production. The announcement does not mention whether Freyr will buy the entire quantity or whether third-party customers will also be supplied.
The exact location of the factory has not yet been determined. According to Freyr CEO Tom Einar Jensen, “a limited number of suitable locations in Scandinavia” will be examined in the coming months. Freyr is not only planning to produce LFP battery cells, however: In November, an offtake agreement was signed with the commodities group Glencore for the purchase of 1,500 tonnes of cobalt-containing cathode material.
Freyr and Alees also plan to develop a “Nordic supply chain” for the as-yet unnamed joint venture, initially sourcing iron and phosphate products from Scandinavia. Freyr states that it is working to “bring lithium refining capacity to Norway to ensure a constant supply of high-quality raw materials”. The companies do not specify where the lithium will be sourced from until then.
From the localised supply chain, Freyr and Alees expect not only lower CO2 production due to the short transport routes, but “probably strong economic advantages”. These benefits are not precisely quantified.
The partnership between Freyr and Alees is no coincidence: The Taiwanese company is already an approved supplier of cathode material to the US company 24M Technologies. 24M is also Freyr’s technology partner, and the cells manufactured in Norway are to be based on 24M’s SemiSolid technology platform. Since Alees’ cathode materials are already approved for this, it facilitates the partnership with Freyr.
“The cooperation with FREYR will further allow us to improve the production process of cathode materials for LFP batteries to contribute to the reduction of global emissions,” says Edward Chang, CEO and founder of Aleees. “The combination of FREYR’s clean battery production and Aleees’ deep experience in LFP cathode production and established production capacity, will provide the basis for innovative solutions to the battery solutions worldwide.”
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