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Morrow Batteries announces site for 32GWh lithium-ion battery plant in Norway

Wed, 01/13/2021 - 12:12 -- paul Crompton

Norwegian company Morrow Batteries has announced the location of its planned 32GWh lithium-ion battery cell factory will be Eyde Energipark in Arendal in the country’s southern region of Agder.

Construction of the plant, which will make batteries for electric vehicles, is scheduled to begin in 2023, according to a report by Norwegian broadcaster NRK. 

Last October, the company announced it had reviewed 19 submitted proposals for the location of its gigafactory and had decided one of four places in the Agder region: Eyde Energipark (Arendal), Lista (Farsund), Støleheia Sør (Kristiansand) and Otra (Vennesla).

Plans for the gigafactory were revealed in September when the firm said it wanted to ‘rapidly scale up battery cell production in Norway in order to meet increasing market demand and lead the drive for more sustainable batteries’.

The factory will consist of four equal modules of 8GWh, with the first section planned to be ready in 2024. The first module will “most likely use existing battery technology, while the others will be developing the next generation battery cell technology,” said the firm.

In December, Morrow engaged Dr Ulrich Ehmes as an industrial advisor. 

Ehmes, who has a broad international experience from a number of industrial battery companies, especially in setting up gigafactory projects in Asia, will advise Morrow on customer development and technology strategy.

Ehmes said at the time: "Morrow Batteries’ ambition to set up a Lithium-ion cell production in Norway is coming at the right time and with the right focus. The market demands significant production capacities for cells in Europe as it will increase exponentially. Morrow will be ready as a stable and cost competitive cell supplier in Europe on time.”

In November, Dr. Rahul Fotedar joined Morrow as chief technology officer. He will lead the work in developing the next generation batteries that will be produced at the planned gigafactory.

He said at the time: “The industries in the battery value chain have not been consolidated and until now much of the technology has been copied, not developed. 

“In addition, the market is mainly controlled by Asian monopoly companies, so there is a need for more homegrown European challengers. Buying blueprint factories from one of the major Asian players is not a good solution, then we will always be behind. Here we have every opportunity to build our own value chain, and to develop and manufacture in Europe.”

The two lead investors of Morrow are Agder Energi and NOAH, owning 39% and 40% respectively. Agder Energi is one of the largest producers of renewable energy in Norway. It is partly owned by Statkraft, Norway’s state-owned renewable power producer, and a number of municipalities in Agder county.