Swedish lithium-ion battery maker Northvolt AB is to partner with two of the countries’ cities to set up what it says will be “Europe’s largest and most cutting-edge lithium-ion battery manufacturing” operation.
Northvolt said the ‘Gigafactory business’ will be split between the cities of Skellefteå in the north— which will host the production factory— and the central Sweden city of Västerås— where key research and development operations will be located.
Construction of the Skellefteå factory, which will include active material preparation, cell assembly, recycling and other services, is scheduled to start in the second half of 2018 and start operations in 2020.
Skellefteå is expected to produce 8GWh of battery capacity every year. On full completion in 2023 the factory will have a production capacity of 32GWh annually.
Construction work at Västerås, including a demonstration line, will start in 2018 and is scheduled for completion in 2019.
Northvolt said Skellefteå “has rich material and mining resources with a long history of process manufacturing and recycling, while Västerås is a popular location for energy and electric businesses”.
Founder and CEO of Northvolt Peter Carlsson said Sweden is a “unique” place to establish large-scale battery production, because of the access to necessary materials and the country’s industrial tradition.
Northvolt, founded by two former Tesla workers, first announced its Gigafactory plans to manufacture lithium-ion batteries in Europe in March 2017.
Last month, Northvolt signed a memorandum of understanding with power and automation technology group ABB for a wide-ranging supply and technology partnership, including products and services for Northvolt’s Gigafactory and R&D activities.