On March 15, 2022, local time, battery manufacturer Northvolt announced to the outside world in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, that it is about to build a battery super factory, Northvolt Drei.
The specific location of the factory will be located in Heide, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, with a potential annual production capacity of 60GWh, and the Gigafactory after completion will be enough to accommodate about 1 million electric vehicles.
In fact, the establishment of Northvolt Drei has a certain relationship with Northvolt’s corporate positioning.
Founded in 2016, Northvolt’s original mission was to make the world’s greenest lithium-ion batteries, helping European countries transition from natural resources to renewable energy. The company has just been established and has been favored by Goldman Sachs Group and Volkswagen. After successfully completing the first round of financing of 12 million US dollars in 2017, it officially settled in its headquarters in Stockholm.
The company has made rapid progress in market expansion. After just over a year of establishment, it has jointly established a battery recycling program with Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology, aiming to create a closed-loop ecology of industrially recycled lithium-ion batteries.
In February 2018, Northvolt’s battery system research and development team completed the development of the company’s first “battery module prototype”, and a month later, they delivered the first test battery. Up to now, Northvolt’s total number of employees has reached 2,500, from more than 100 different countries around the world.
It is worth noting that Northvolt’s financing experience is also quite smooth. At first, Goldman Sachs and Volkswagen were very optimistic about the battery manufacturer, and in June 2019, they joined other investment institutions to invest $1 billion in it to help Northvolt develop Northvolt Ett; in July 2020, a $1.6 billion agreement was signed. Debt financing to support company production development and other projects in recycling, R&D; in September 2020, Northvolt signed a new equity financing of $600 million; in June 2021, raised an equity financing of $2.75 billion for Northvolt Ett’s Funding for expansion, raising production potential to 60GWh.
Funds from these investment institutions have helped Northvolt build many important infrastructures, such as plans for an R&D park covering the entire battery ecosystem, plans to develop lithium conversion facilities and an R&D park for the entire battery ecosystem.
Peter Carlson, co-founder and CEO of Northvolt, said: “We are delighted to announce the establishment of Northvolt Drei, a project that is well suited to the emerging and promising future cleantech cluster in northern Germany and is driving the European transformation towards Germany has a crucial role to play in the transition to a sustainable society.”
The way the battery is produced is very important in the creation of the cleantech cluster, and if produced from coal, a considerable amount of carbon dioxide needs to be embedded in the battery. Produced with clean energy, more sustainable products can be produced. Therefore, the company is currently adhering to the idea that new energy-intensive industries should be established, and super battery factories should be built closer to clean energy.
Some employees of Northvolt
Northvolt battery factory
Northvolt Drei’s core objective is to supply high-performance lithium-ion batteries to the European market, and by 2025, the number of employees is expected to expand to around 3,000, of which around 85% are involved in direct production. For these positions, they recruit both experienced production workers and job seekers looking to start a new career.
As sustainability of production is key to Northvolt Drei’s design and decision making for the company, in addition to battery production, Northvolt Drei will target an on-site battery recycling plant that will ensure efficient reuse of by-products from the production process, for recycling in the European market The end-of-life EV batteries offer a new type of solution.
During the entire project construction process, Northvolt hopes to establish a more transparent mechanism and a more understandable, simple and straightforward commitment to deal with external stakeholders with this management system and philosophy. It is worth mentioning that this method has been proven effective in Sweden, Norway and Poland.
Northvolt Drei Interim CEO Christopher Hawkes is very much looking forward to working with the Schleswig-Holstein community and authorities to ensure that Northvolt Drei develops in a transparent and collaborative manner to maximize the benefits of the project to bring more business opportunities to the region.