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The Battle for Batteries

Photo from Shutterstock: Eco-friendly battery energi storage
Photo from Shutterstock: Eco-friendly battery energi storage

82 inquiries have been received with a total of more than 100 location proposals from all parts of the country regarding a green-battery factory planned by Hydro, Equinor and Panasonic in Norway.

Vestland County Council is one of many regions participating in the race of becoming the host county for a large-scale green-battery factory planned by Hydro, Equinor and Panasonic.

The three companies will work together towards summer 2021 to assess the market for lithium-ion batteries in Europe and mature the business case for a green battery business located in Norway. Lithium-ion batteries are the same kind of batteries used in electrical cars.

A Strong European Battery Industry

Right now, Asian companies dominate the market for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, and they are expanding their production capacity in Europe, China and the United States are in a fight to win lucrative contracts from global automakers.

Some carmakers worry, however, there won’t be enough batteries for all the EVs they plan to launch in the coming years and a bitter row between South Korea’s SK Innovation and LG Chem risks exacerbating the potential shortfall (source: Reuters).

The European commission are intending to build a battery industry in Europe that can compete with Asia through an initiative called the European Battery Alliance.

A Zero Emissions County

Vestland County Council has submitted its contribution to the project to host the battery plant. Western Norway is Norway's largest power and export county with long industrial history and the county is aiming at becoming a zero-emission county.

– Vestland County Council can offer leading business clusters and pulsating innovation ecosystems that holds major international networks, says Owe Hagesæther, CEO in GCE Ocean Technology. –These business systems branch out in strong technological and business development environments. Something, an export-oriented battery factory can capitalize on, he ends.

What is Next

In a newly released press release Panasonic, Equinor and Hydro states that they will now consider the alternatives that have been received. A total of 82 inquiries have been received with a total of more than 100 location proposals from all parts of the country.

As a first step, the project will identify the places that satisfy the needs of a battery factory.
When the process is complete, the project plans to communicate the outcome to each individual proposer.

The next step will be to find the most competitive of the alternatives, where the project will base its choices on defined criteria and objective assessments it is stated in the press release.

Moreover, Panasonic, Equinor and Hydro are working in parallel to assess the marked for lithium-ion batteries in Europe, as part of the basis for determining if they should start a battery business in Norway. The work in the first phase will continue until the middle of 2021.

Read full press release (in Norwegian only)

Read about Vestland County Council’s prospect.

Contact Information

Kjersti Boge Christensen

Communication and Event Manager

Kjersti Boge Christensen

Facts

Leading technology company Panasonic, energy company Equinor and industrial group Hydro have signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a strategic partnership to explore possibilities for establishing a sustainable and cost-competitive European battery business in Norway.

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