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Freyer signs MoUs as it ramps up plans for 83GWh lithium-ion battery production in Norway

Wed, 09/01/2021 - 14:58 -- paul Crompton
freer factory image

Battery developer Freyer has entered into two non-binding memoranda of understanding (MoU) for the potential development of industrial scale battery cell production in Finland. 

The MoUs with Finnish Minerals Group and the City of Vaasa come as Freyer ramps up plans to develop up to 43GWh of battery cell production capacity by 2025 and 83GWh by 2028.

The MoU with the City of Vaasa provides the exclusive right to a 90-hectare (900,000 square meters) site for a potential battery cell plant and states the parties will explore opportunities for joint site-development to accelerate the manufacturing of low-carbon and low-cost batteries in Finland.

Tom Einar Jensen, the CEO of Freyer, said the city of Vaasa offered an attractive location for a gigafactory due to its access to short-travelled raw materials, abundant renewable power and cooling water, plus an existing cluster of leading suppliers for the battery value chain.

Freyer holds an exclusive right up until 22 July next year to the selected 90-hectares, subject to certain conditions related to the progress of the project being met. 

The site is adjacent to a battery cathode material production facility planned by Johnson Matthey in strategic partnership with Finnish Minerals Group.

Finnish Minerals Group manages the Finnish State’s mining industry shareholdings, and is working actively to develop a lithium-ion battery value chain and engage in long-term technology development of the mining and battery industry. 

Finland is the largest nickel producer in the EU, and the only EU member state with industrial scale cobalt production. 

Production of lithium is also expected to commence in Finland over the next decade.  

Matti Hietanen, CEO of Finnish Minerals Group, said: “One of our strategic objectives is to create a sustainable battery value chain in Finland. 

“As part of this, our objective of introducing precursor and cathode active material production investments is already well progressed. 

“Now our disclosed strategic partnership with Freyer marks the next logical step in our work to put Finland on the map of European cell plant projects.” 

Casting equipment deal

Freyer has signed a contract with the UK’s Mpac Lambert for the supply of the casting and unit cell assembly equipment package to the battery cell production line at Freyer’s Customer Qualification Plant in Mo i Rana, Norway. 

Preparatory work on the facility is underway with a planned start date of operations in the second half of 2022.

Mpac Lambert was prequalified to participate in the competitive tender following nearly three years of cooperation with 24M Technologies on industrialising and scaling 24M’s SemiSolid lithium-ion battery platform technology. 

The company will leverage 24M’s innovative battery casting technology and in-house expertise and experience in automation and mass production systems to construct and install the equipment.

Einar Kilde, EVP Projects at Freyer, said: “The casting and unit cell assembly sits at the heart of the battery cell production process. 

“This is our first contract for critical production line machinery, and we are excited to take the important step towards achieving the milestones outlined in our project plan. 

Freyer expects to start construction this month. 

The contract with Mpac Lambert also grants Freyer options for delivery of the casting and unit cell assembly equipment packages for its planned gigafactories.

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‘Made-in-the US’ lithium-ion cell supply deal signed by Proterra and LGES

Wed, 08/25/2021 - 09:12 -- paul Crompton
 lithium-ion battery by Proterra

Electric vehicle and charging firm Proterra has finalised a six-year lithium-ion deal with LG Energy Solution that represents plans for “multiple GWhs of dedicated battery cell capacity” in the US.

The deal extends the firms existing battery-cell supply agreement, and secures Proterra a stable supply of LG Energy Solution (LGES)— a LG Chem subsidiary— battery cells through to 2028. 

The high nickel NCMA cells will be used to manufacture Proterra’s commercial electric vehicle battery systems.

California-based Proterra had to stump up a “nine-figure sum” to secure the long-term supply of lithium-ion cylindrical cells manufactured at Korean-owned LG Energy Solution’s US plant.

Both Proterra and LGES now plan to obtain approval from their board of directors for the agreement by Q4.

Proterra did not confirm the location of the plant that would make the cells when questioned by BEST

LGES plans to invest more than $4.5 billion in US manufacturing capacity, including plants in Michigan and Ohio (in conjunction with with General Motors, which is under construction).

LGES is also working on a pilot plant for Tesla’s 4680 prototype lithium-ion cells.

High nickel NCMA cells 

Wonjoon Suh, the senior vice president and the division leader of Mobility and IT Battery Division at LGES, said: “The collaboration between LG Energy Solution and Proterra will act as a critical milestone in seizing America’s eco-friendly commercial vehicle industry, already taking a lead in the global market. 

“LGES will continue to expand our EV battery manufacturing capability in the U.S. and bolster local supply chain to foster clean energy industry in the US.”

Since 2016, Proterra and LG Chem engineering teams have been collaborating to increase cell performance to meet the requirements of commercial vehicle markets. 

The cylindrical cells to be manufactured at the new LGES plants will feature a high nickel NCMA chemistry engineered for commercial vehicle and industrial applications. 

Earlier this month, LGES secured 100% rights to battery-grade nickel and cobalt materials from Australian Mines.

The six-year deal is for mixed hydroxide precipitate (MPH) from the $1.5 billion Sconi Project in North Queensland, in which it will have access to 71,000 tonnes of nickel and 7,000 tonnes of cobalt from the end of 2024.

LGES signed a lithium-ion battery materials off-take deal with Australian firm Vulcan Energy in August for up to 45 metric tonnes of lithium hydroxide over the five-year term of the deal.

LG Energy Solution woes

In June, LGES was forced to extend its safety recall over concerns its lithium-ion powered Resu-branded residential energy storage units installed could overheat and catch on fire.

The affected units were equipped with lithium-ion cells manufactured between March 2017 and September 2018. 

The systems were installed as part of a residential energy solar system, which allowed owners to capture and store energy from solar panels. 

 

Launched in December, LGES said it had received ‘isolated reports’ about overheating incidents linked to home energy storage system battery installations. 

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Freyr secures $13 million financing to build Norway’s first lithium-ion gigafactory

Fri, 07/17/2020 - 10:23 -- paul Crompton

Norwegian firm Freyr has secured NOK 130 million ($13 million) of pre-construction financing to build the country’s first lithium-ion battery cell facility.

The cash will be used to complete the design and technology selection process and enable the development of a 2GWh Fast Track battery cell manufacturing plant in the town of Mo i Rana, Rana municipality. 

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Expansion plans lead EU Commission to open investigation into Samsung’s Hungary lithium-ion battery plant

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 11:06 -- paul Crompton

An investigation has been opened into Hungary's €108 million ($120 million) pledge to help fund Samsung SDI’s battery cell production expansion plans in Göd (Hungary), the European Commission announced on 14 October.

The Commission is set to investigate whether the financial support was necessary for Samsung to trigger the expansion plans at its existing plant in Göd, which was completed in 2017. 

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VW confirms plan for battery cells pilot plant

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 10:23 -- John Shepherd
VW confirms plan for battery cells pilot plant

Volkswagen has told BBB it will build a pilot manufacturing plant for battery cells in Germany as part of a new corporate “centre of excellence”.

The pilot facility, on which work is expected to start by 2019, will be incorporated with an existing VW plant in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, a VW spokesperson confirmed.

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Space: the final frontier for batteries

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 10:07 -- Xuan Zhong
Space: the final frontier for batteries

US battery manufacturer EnerSys will supply lithium-ion cells and batteries valued at over $60 million to multiple space agencies and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide. 

Quallion LLC, an EnerSys subsidiary, will manufacture the lithium-ion raw materials and 72Ah large format battery cells at its production facilities in California.

 

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