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Northvolt has announced plans to establish a battery gigafactory in Heide, Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. With an annual potential production capacity of 60 GWh, Northvolt Drei will deliver a supply of sustainably produced lithium-ion batteries to the European market, sufficient for some one million electric vehicles.
Northvolt Drei will be the Swedish company’s third gigafactory in Europe.
The new gigafactory increases Northvolt’s pipeline of battery manufacturing capacity under development to over 170 GWh.
Expected to produce its first batteries in 2025 and provide some 3,000 new jobs, a central intention of Northvolt Drei is to deliver high-performance lithium-ion batteries, produced with the lowest environmental footprint in continental Europe.
Heide, Schleswig-Holstein hosts the cleanest energy grid in Germany, one which features a surplus of electricity generated by onshore and offshore wind power and reinforced by clean energy provided through grid interconnections to Denmark and Norway.
Alongside battery production, Northvolt Drei will target an on-site battery recycling plant which will ensure efficient reuse of by-products from the production process and provide a sustainable solution for end-of-life electric vehicle batteries recovered from European markets.
Peter Carlsson, Co-Founder and CEO of Northvolt, says: “We’re excited to announce Northvolt Drei – a project which fits well into a promising future cluster of clean technology ventures emerging in northern Germany and advances the wider European transition towards a sustainable society within which Germany plays a crucial role.”
He adds: “It matters how we produce a battery cell. If you use coal in your production, you embed a fair amount of CO2 into your battery, but if we use clean energy, we can build a very sustainable product. Our philosophy is that new energy-intensive industries, such as battery manufacturing, should be established in actual geographical proximity to where the clean energy is produced.”
Christofer Haux, interim CEO of Northvolt Drei, comments: “We look forward to engaging with communities and authorities of Schleswig-Holstein to ensure that Northvolt Drei is developed in a transparent and collaborative manner that makes the most of the many opportunities the project represents for the region.”
To date, Northvolt has secured in excess of $50 billion worth of contracts from key customers, including BMW, Fluence, Scania, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars and Polestar, to support its plans, which include establishing recycling capabilities to enable 50 percent of all its raw material requirements to be sourced from recycled batteries by 2030.