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BATTERY MANUFACTURING Northvolt to transform closed paper mill in Sweden into new gigafactory

From Nicole Kareta

Northvolt and Stora Enso have announced the signing of a letter of intent on a purchase of the Kvarnsveden Mill and the surrounding industrial area in Borlänge, Sweden. Northvolt will develop the site into a manufacturing plant for active material and battery cells, reusing and refurbishing much of the existing facilities and site infrastructure.

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The gigafactory is expected to enter operations in late 2024, utilizing 100 percent clean energy to produce up to 100 GWh of cathode material to enable cell assembly at multiple Northvolt facilities.
The gigafactory is expected to enter operations in late 2024, utilizing 100 percent clean energy to produce up to 100 GWh of cathode material to enable cell assembly at multiple Northvolt facilities.
(Source: Vladimir Efimov - stock.adobe.com)

The gigafactory is expected to start the first part of its operations in late 2024 and will employ up to 1,000 people, utilizing 100 % clean energy from the region. Fully built out, the site will have a potential annual production capacity of more than 100 GWh of cathode material, which will enable cell assembly at multiple Northvolt facilities. The site will also feature cell production.

Peter Carlsson, Co-Founder and CEO of Northvolt, comments: “Since Northvolt’s founding, we have focused on circular battery production, but this is the first time we will reuse an entire production site. With its access to energy, industrial water and the broad production know-how in the region, Kvarnsveden is an optimal site for a gigafactory. We are thrilled to be able to open a new chapter in Borlänge’s history as a global industrial hub.”

Founded in 1900, the mill produced pulp and paper for over 120 years until its closure in 2021, laying off over 400 people. The agreement is the result of a strong commitment by Stora Enso to find the best long-term solution for its former employees and the city of Borlänge. Key managers from the Kvarnsveden site will stay on during a transfer period to best utilize the current infrastructure and enable a swift transformation.

“Sustainability is the main priority for Stora Enso and has to be addressed also in difficult times. Hence, a key focus since our decision to close the site has been to find a new owner that, to the benefit of the local society, can continue Stora Enso’s long and sustainable-driven legacy at Kvarnsveden. Like Stora Enso, Northvolt delivers modern and innovative solutions that contribute to a climate-friendly future. Through this agreement, Kvarnsveden will become a foundation for continued growth, both for Northvolt and the city of Borlänge,” says Per Lyrvall, Sweden country manager at Stora Enso.

The project advances Northvolt on its mission to deliver the world’s greenest lithium-ion battery and establish a sustainable supply of batteries to enable the decarbonization of society. The factory will play a key role in fulfilling more than USD50 billion in orders from key customers and joins a wider European production network of facilities being developed together with partners in Sweden, Norway, Poland, Germany and Portugal.

“There is a massive global demand for sustainable, high-quality lithium-ion battery cells and systems. With the blueprint developed at Northvolt Labs and Northvolt Ett, we will now put in another gear to scale up production even faster and larger than before,” says Peter Carlsson.

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