Siemens backs Northvolt’s Swedish battery factory plan with €10m

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Siemens and Northvolt will team up on the production of lithium-ion batteries. Munich-based Siemens will bring a €10 million ($11.7 million) investment, the company said in a statement on Friday, and the partnership also includes the supply of lithium-ion batteries. With its “Digital Enterprise” portfolio, Siemens wants to enable digitization of the value chain, covering areas from the design of battery cells to production and services.

We are happy to support Northvolt in building the battery factory of the future,” said Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens’ Digital Factory Division. “With our Digital Enterprise portfolio, we contribute to competitive battery cell production in Europe that fully exploits the benefits of software and automation: greater flexibility, efficiency and quality, with shorter time to market.” 

Northvolt is planning a gigawatt-scale lithium-ion battery cell production line by 2020. Siemens will buy batteries from the factory with Northvolt as a preferred supplier, said the German company.

In September 2017, ABB and Northvolt presented plans for the factory in Sweden and in February, the European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a loan of up to €52.5 million through the InnovFin EU Financing Program for Innovator Demonstration Projects. Around the same time it became known a research facility was to be built at the demonstration site in Vasteras. The plan is for an annual production capacity of 32 GWh to be built in Skelleftea.

Last week the European Commission published an action plan for a competitive and sustainable battery industry in Europe with market volume in the segment from 2025 expected to be up to €250 billion. The Commission document revealed Brussels is committed to providing better access to raw materials, supporting the production of European battery cells on a large scale, building industry leadership by fostering research and innovation, building and strengthening a highly skilled workforce across the battery value chain, and supporting the sustainability of the battery cell manufacturing industry.