Northvolt confirms the installation of its giant factory in Germany


By Le Figaro with AFP

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This Northvolt project will allow Europe to be more sovereign in its battery production. Ralf / stock.adobe.com

In full dynamic of expansion, the group concretizes a colossal project. A new site could also open in the United States or Canada.

The Swedish electric battery group Northvolt confirmed on Friday the installation of a giant electric battery factory in Germany, after several months of uncertainty due to energy prices in Europe and the American climate plan. “Northvolt has decided to take the next steps in its expansion in Heide“, the site chosen in northern Germany, said Peter Carlsson, the company’s CEO, in a statement issued with the German government which promises a “support» funding to the project. This federal aid – not quantified and which must still be submitted to “European Commission approval” – goes “unlock this multi-billion dollar project“, whose production will begin in 2026, welcomed Berlin.

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Northvolt announced in March 2022 the construction, in Heide in the Schleswig-Holstein region, a few kilometers from the North Sea coast, of a huge battery factory capable of supplying one million electric vehicles per year, the first of the group outside of Sweden. The Swedish group is one of Europe’s greatest battery hopefuls as the Old Continent seeks to catch up in this production essential to the transition of the automotive industry.

“One of the flagship projects of the energy and transport transition”

But the German project was in limbo after a statement last October from Peter Carlsson, saying the investment “could be postponeddue to rising energy prices in Europe, and competition from the US climate plan for green industry. A sign of the attractiveness of North America for industrialists, Northvolt announced on Friday that it plans to build a factory in North America, in parallel with the German site. A decision will be madein the coming months“Said a spokesperson for the group.

After “more than a year“of negotiations, “Germany can look ahead, with one of the flagship projects of the energy and transport transition“, welcomed Friday the Minister of the Economy Robert Habeck. The factory promises to create at least 3,000 direct jobs. This confirmation comes a few hours after the announcement by the Taiwanese group ProLogium ofthe opening of its first factory in Europe in Dunkirk, in the North of France, with an investment of 5.2 billion euros for an annual capacity of 48 GWh. Even if it has seen factory projects flourish on its soil in recent months, Europe is lagging behind China and the United States in the production of batteries.

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Germany is the most advanced country with the equivalent of 498 GWh of projects in the pipeline, followed by Hungary (224 GWh), Norway (136 GWh) and France (122 GWh), according to the followed by the NGO Transport and Environment. Competition with the United States and the hunt for subsidies have increased since the subsidies of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which provides colossal tax credits for green industry and the energy transition.



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