Budding Norwegian battery cell manufacturer Morrow Batteries has signed a multi-year development agreement with separator manufacturer Celgard. Production of battery cells in Morrow’s Gigafactory is scheduled to start in 2024 using Celgard’s separators.
The Norwegian company’s planned battery cell factory is currently under construction at Eyde Energipark in Arendal in the Agder region of southern Norway. According to the company, the factory will be designed for a capacity of up to 43 GWh by the end of 2028. Operations are scheduled to start in 2023, with mass production of the first-generation product portfolio planned for 2024. Morrow relies on lithium nickel manganese oxide (LNMO) cathode material for its battery cells. The cells are to be suitable for both electric vehicles and stationary energy storage systems.
The development partnership now agreed with Celgard – a subsidiary of US company Polypore International and part of the Japanese Asahi Kasei conglomerate – aims to jointly create next-generation dry-process battery separators. This is an exclusive agreement, Celgard says. In other words, the separators will be developed solely for use in Morrow’s battery cells. “Morrow has committed to undisclosed annual purchase volumes,” Celgard says.
“The partnership with Celgard provides a framework to speed up the development of our LNMO-based products and it is a big step towards our goal of being a global battery frontrunner on both cost and sustainability,” expresses Rahul Fotedar, Chief Technology Officer of Morrow.
In May 2022, Morrow Batteries had already signed a multi-year supply agreement with Echion Technologies for anode materials and a memorandum of understanding with IBU-Tec Advanced Materials for the supply of cathode materials. Other collaborations exist with Vianode and the Korean group Posco.
Morrow’s approach is to eliminate cobalt in its LNMO batteries, reduce nickel and lithium as much as possible and maximise the use of abundant manganese. Currently, the Arendal-based company, founded in 2020, says it employs “more than 100 battery specialists in four international offices”.
Among investors, the company’s plans seem to be convincing. During the latest investment round in May, Morrow raised €100 million. The round was led by Siemens Financial Services and ABB. Existing shareholders, the Danish pension fund PKA, NOAH AS and Agder Energi Invest, also participated.
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