Europe starts the 'defense war' of local battery supply

by:CTECHi     2021-09-15
Foreign media reported that the Norwegian start-up battery company Morrow and the Norwegian metal producer Elkem's subsidiary Viaode signed a memorandum of understanding, Vianode will develop and supply anode materials for Morrow's battery factory. Morrow was established in 2020. The company plans to build a power lithium battery plant in Eyde Energy Park in Arendal, Agder Region, southern Norway. The planned annual output of the project is 32GWh, and the total investment is about 470 million euros (about 3.7 billion yuan). Part of the funding for the project comes from the EU Horizon 2020 research program. The project will be constructed in four phases, each phase is 8GWh, and the first phase will be completed and put into operation in the fourth quarter of 2024. The current output of the plant has been increased to 42GWh. Vianode was established in May 2021 and is an independent subsidiary of Norwegian metal producer Elkem that develops and produces anode materials for power lithium batteries. The company received 1 million euros from the government to help it build a plant. In addition, Vianode’s parent company Elkem signed a memorandum of understanding with another Norwegian start-up battery company FREYR last fall to supply FREYR with negative electrode materials. FREYR plans to invest US$4.5 billion (approximately RMB 29.5 billion) to build a lithium-ion battery plant with an annual output of 32GWh in Norway. The lithium-ion batteries produced will be used in the stationary energy storage industry, electric vehicles, and ships. In addition to Elkem, FREYR has also signed cooperation agreements with companies such as 24M Technology, Glencore, global exploration and mining company MRC global logistics giant Maersk, and Siemens Energy to ensure the supply of raw materials for its super battery plant. The construction of large-scale battery cell projects by two start-up battery companies in Norway, Morrow and FREYR, reflects that Europe is eager to get rid of its dependence on Asian battery imports, starting a 'defense war' to ensure the supply of local batteries, and even want to achieve export to participate in global power lithium batteries market competition. In addition to the above two start-up battery companies, Europe has also established several local battery companies in recent years, including the Swedish battery company Northvolt, the French battery company Verkor, the British battery company Britishvolt, the Slovak battery company InoBatAuto, and the Italian start-up battery company Italvolt. It is expected that more European battery companies will be born in the later period. At present, local battery companies in Europe are speeding up production construction, and some battery companies have even obtained orders from OEMs to enter the mass production delivery stage. For example, Northvolt announced that the company has won a battery supply contract worth US$27 billion (approximately RMB 1,735) from an important customer; Slovak battery company InoBatAuto claimed to have won the first battery order for a commercial vehicle customer.
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