The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a €350m loan for Swedish battery firm Northvolt to build the EU’s first lithium-ion battery gigafactory.
Northvolt, which specialises in sustainable battery manufacturing and says its mission is to build the world’s greenest lithium-ion battery cells, is building the factory – to be called Northvolt Ett – in Skellefteå in Northern Sweden, using 100% renewable energy sources; with the first quarter of construction projected for completion by 2020. Once completed, Northvolt Ett will become the company’s primary production location, producing up to 32 gigawatt hours per year.
Peter Carlsson, co-founder and CEO of Northvolt, said: “This EIB in-principle approval is a key moment in the process of finalising our capital raise to support the establishment of Northvolt Ett. Today we are one step closer to our goal of building the greenest batteries in the world and enabling the European transition to a decarbonised future.”
The EIB’s approval of the loan is currently only in-principle pending the signing of a final contract by both parties. Once it is fully agreed, the loan – which will represent the EIB’s largest direct financing approval for battery technologies to date – will be supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investment.
EIB Vice President Andrew McDowell said: “The development of a competitive and green battery value chain within Europe can not only cut greenhouse gas emissions by decarbonising power generation and transport, but can also help protect millions of well paid jobs in European industries in the face of increasing global competition. The €350 million loan to Northvolt approved in-principle today by our Board of Directors is the largest ever direct EIB financing approval for battery technology, and we look forward to working with Northvolt over the coming months to finalize contracts.”
Ibrahim Baylan, Swedish Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation, said: “Today’s decision by the EIB is very gratifying and a big step towards a large-scale battery production in the EU and a fossil free welfare society. The decision shows that there are prerequisites in Sweden for sustainable battery production, it is important for Sweden and the rest of the EU to produce battery materials and battery cells, based on green, Swedish electricity.”