Freyr says it has successfully completed NOK130m (US$13.8m) of pre-construction financing of the first lithium-ion battery cell (LIB) facility in Norway with significant local and regional support.
The proceeds will be used to complete the concept and technology selection process and enable development of the 2 GWh Fast Track battery cell manufacturing plant in Mo i Rana.
Freyr will build a strong customer base in the Electric Vehicles, Stationary Storage and Marine Application segments.
“We are very pleased with the commitment from our new investors who share our vision of Freyr developing the first large scale battery cell production facility in Norway,” said Freyr executive chairman, Torstein Dale Sjøtveit.
“We are increasingly confident Norway has the potential to become a global leader in battery cell production to satisfy the rapidly growing demand across multiple markets.
“This strong interest is also a recognition of our position as an early-mover with a favourable location and a strong, differentiating partnership model enabling us to rapidly unlock highly advanced battery cell facilities in Europe.”
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Rana municipality, which will be the home of Freyr’s initial battery cell manufacturing facilities and Helgeland Invest, a regional investment company set up to promote local value creation, and a total of 40 professional and private investors joined forces in the pre-construction financing through a NOK117m private placement of new equity and the conversion of a bridge facility from the spring of 2020, bringing the total financing to NOK130m.
In April, 2019, Freyr announced its ambition to build large scale battery cell manufacturing facilities in Norway. The planned facilities may become one of the largest production sites in Europe, supplying lithium-ion battery cells (LIB) to the equivalent of 600,000 electrical vehicles per year.
Freyr will unlock the capacity through partnerships leveraging battery cell and production technology.
The company has also signed initial agreements for supply of renewable energy, raw materials, equipment and technology, as well as various supporting frame-agreements for project management support.
“Freyr’s ambition is to make Norway a global leader in this exponentially growing, energy-intensive industry by leveraging 100% renewable electricity at low prices, sustainably sourced raw materials and deep expertise in energy-intensive and highly automated process-intensive industries,” added Freyr CEO, Tom Einar Jensen.
“We are now progressing towards technology selection and off-take agreements which will unlock the development of the 2 GWh Fast Track facility as planned. We will furthermore accelerate the expansion of the Freyr team to complement our in-house capabilities and partnerships already in place to deliver on our ambitions.”
The equity raised will be used to complete the final design for the Fast Track facility through final technology selection and customer retention.
Freyr is targeting construction start of the initial facility in the second quarter of 2021 on a ready-to-develop brownfield location in Mo Industrial Park in Mo i Rana.
The company is also evaluating two greenfield sites in the municipality for the subsequent 32 GWh two-phased giga-factory development. Initial investigations show both sites are suitable for large scale battery cell production.
The area offers access to an existing hydro-power surplus and a considerable untapped potential for wind power. There is sufficient local cooling water as well as regional benefits related to near ideal ambient temperatures.
Mo i Rana is part of the Trans-European transport network including highways, railways and access to an industrial ice-free port. The land-licencing process is underway.