The European Investment Bank has entered into a $350 million loan agreement to support the financing of Europe’s first home-grown ‘gigafactory’ for lithium-ion battery cells, Northvolt Ett, in Sweden. The financing is supported by the the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. In 2018, the EIB also supported the establishment of the demonstration line at Northvolt Labs, which produced its first battery cells in late 2019, and which paved the way for the gigafactory, which is currently under construction in Skellefteå, in northern Sweden – a region that is home to an extensive raw material and mining cluster with a long history of process manufacturing and recycling. Using the region’s clean power base will enable Northvolt to utilise 100% renewable energy within its production processes.
EIB vp Andrew McDowell, noted: “Since the creation of the European Battery Alliance in 2018, the EIB has stepped up its support for the battery value chain to order to help build Europe’s strategic autonomy in a technology that is key to its competitiveness and low carbon future. I believe that EIB financing support for Northvolt has been a textbook example of how our financial and technical due diligence can help crowd in private investors to visionary projects.”
Northvolt Ett will serve as Northvolt’s primary production site, hosting active material preparation, cell assembly, recycling and auxiliaries. At full capacity the factory will produce 16 GWh of battery capacity per year in its initial phase, to be scaled up at a later stage to as much as 40 GWh. Northvolt’s batteries are designed to be used in automotive, grid storage, and industrial and portable applications.
Peter Carlsson, co-founder and CEO of Northvolt, commented: “Europe needs to build its own supply chain for large-scale battery manufacturing and the EIB is a true cornerstone of that process.”
Northvolt’s mission is to deliver the world’s greenest lithium-ion battery with a minimal CO2 footprint. Among its industrial partners and customers are ABB, BMW Group, Scania, Siemens, Vattenfall, Vestas and the Volkswagen Group.