The European Investment Bank (EIB) has confirmed its approval in principle of a €350 million (US$391m) loan for Swedish battery maker Northvolt to build a 16GWh capacity lithium-ion battery cell plant— as revealed by BEST Battery Briefing last week.
EIB vice-president Andrew McDowell (pictured) said the loan is the largest ever direct financing approved by the bank for battery technology. The financing will be through the EIB-managed European Fund for Strategic Investments.
“The development of a competitive and green battery value chain within Europe can not only cut greenhouse gas emissions by decarbonising power generation and transport, but can also help protect millions of well-paid jobs in European industries in the face of increasing global competition,” McDowell said.
Batteries to be produced by Northvolt at Skelleftea “are targeted for use in automotive, grid storage, industrial and portable applications”, the EIB said.
European Commission vice-president and EU energy chief Maros Sefcovic, who has championed the creation of the bloc’s Battery Alliance, said the Northvolt loan was “a stepping-stone towards building a competitive, sustainable and innovative value chain, with battery cells manufactured at scale in Europe”.
Northvolt, founded by two former Tesla workers, first announced its gigafactory plans for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries in Europe in March 2017.