According to the report by Norwegian broadcaster NRK, Morrow Batteries has selected the location to build its battery factory from four sites to choose from. The plant will be built at Eyde Energipark in Arendal, in the Agder region of southern Norway. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023.
Under the decision now taken, the “world’s most sustainable battery factory” will be built in Arendal and will employ at least 2,000 workers there, according to the initiators. The first of four planned expansion stages, each with 8 GWh, will be completed in 2024, as reported when the plans were presented in June.
It is now reported that the factory will primarily manufacture batteries for the automotive and marine industries. The investment volume will amount to five billion crowns, the equivalent of about 470 million euros. The project is supported in part by funds from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research program.
In June, it was announced that Morrow Batteries would initially manufacture cells based on existing technologies. However, in future stages of plant expansion, “next generation battery cell technology” will also be used. There is talk of developing and industrializing new types of lithium-sulfur battery cells.
Behind the new battery company is a consortium of several Norwegian players. The owners of the startup are the Norwegian energy group Agder Energi and the great businessman Bjørn Rune Gjelstens, owner, among other things, of the waste company Noah AS. The initiator is the environmental organization Bellona, which also has a small stake in the company. Project partners also include the research institute SINTEF, the business development company Innovation Norway, the so-called Eyde cluster, and various suppliers of raw materials.
Morrow Batteries wants to capitalize on the upcoming boom in the electric car industry while demonstrating that battery cell production can be a sustainable industry. The company already emphasized this when it introduced the project in June: “We need to build alternative industries to oil and gas and be able to initiate green change,” said Terje Andersen, CEO of Morrow Batteries, at the time. In Agder, the project initiators have access to hydroelectric power, among other sources. For lithium-sulfur battery cells, Morrow Batteries also wants to use waste materials from the Norwegian oil industry in the future. The value chain must be explicitly different from those in Asia.