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Freyr Battery, Antonio Guterres, Giga Factory, Mo i Rana

“We must end fossil fuel pollution and accelerate the renewable energy transition before we incinerate our only home. Transforming energy systems is low-hanging fruit.

António Guterres, UNs secretary-general

May 19 2022

Storing renewable electricity is often cited as the greatest barrier to the clean energy transition.”

Human existence is surrounded by energy. But it was the human control of fire that started our development. The heat from the fire is the utilization of solar energy stored in the wood, and for tens of thousands of years man has gathered wood. Our knowledge of utilizing stored energy has not only brought us further in development, it has also created humanity's greatest threat. The consumption of fossil energy is today far greater than our atmosphere can receive, and we must find other sources of energy and increase our knowledge of storing it, not as dry wood, but in batteries that are themselves produced from sustainable and renewable energy .

Statkraft, Freyr Battery, Giga Factory, Mo i Rana

Mo i Rana is surrounded by power plants This is Akersvatnet. Photo: Statkraft

FREYR Battery is a Norwegian company which by 2025 goals for an annual production of battery cells with a total storage capacity of 43 GWh. The New York Stock Exchange-listed company has announced plans for the possible development of industrial battery cell production in Vaasa, Finland and the US. The company's ambitions are to expand production by 2028 to a total storage capacity of close to 85 GWh. FREYR Battery's goal is thus to establish itself as one of Europe's largest battery cell manufacturers.

Five of FREYR's production facilities will be built in Mo i Rana, where the company will utilize cheap renewable energy from water and wind and have access to Norwegian and the local highly qualified industrial expertise.

FREYR Battery will supply battery cells with high energy density to the international markets in mobility, i.e. electric vehicles and ships, as well as for stationary energy storage. FREYR supports cluster-based R&D initiatives, thereby contributing to the development of an international ecosystem of scientific, commercial, and financial stakeholders that expands and strengthens the international battery value chain.

FREYR bases its production on technology from the English company 24M.

Battery cell and battery, - what is the difference?
Stated simply, the difference between a cell and a battery is that a battery stores energy, while a cell creates energy. A cell creates (generates) energy by transforming (converting) resources inside the cell.

When electricity is supplied to a battery, the cells in the battery will convert the electricity into changes in the cell's chemistry. When the battery is connected to a lamp or a motor, the cells inside the battery will convert the chemistry back into electricity. There are many different chemistries and battery types. Freyr Battery will produce lithium-ion battery cells based on technology from the British company 24M.

However, there are a number of other differences between cells and batteries, described simply below.

Renewable energy is secured by an agreement with Europe's largest producer of renewable energy, the Norwegian-owned company Statkraft. This public owned company owns the large hydropower plants in the Mo i Rana region, and according to the agreement, the local power plants with an annual production of close to 2.2 TWh must supply FREYR with sufficient renewable power.

The agreement and associated energy services provided by Statkraft are estimated to cover the entire expected electricity demand in the period 2024-2031 and ensure physical delivery of power from the central grid in Mo i Rana to FREYR's pilot factory and the first planned giga factory. Statkraft undertakes to deliver up to 23 MW of base load with a total volume during the contract period of 1.4 TWh, together with guarantees of origin documenting that the power comes from Statkraft's hydropower production in the region.

Giga Factory, Freyr Battery, Mo i Rana

Giga Arctic illustration situated inside Mo Industrial Park. Illustration: FREYR Battery.

FREYR Battery Cell Pilot Plant

FREYR's first factory will be a Customer Qualification Plant (CQP), a pilot plant for production of Li-ion battery cells. One of the motifs with piloting is to reduce the number of steps in the production process and help remove the need for solvents and binders compared to conventional technology. The technology in the pilot plant is energy and area efficient, and reduces material and energy consumption, investment costs and emissions of greenhouse gases.

Internally in FREYR, the pilot plant will be used to develop expertise, learning and experience from pilot production which will be used to scale the technology for large-scale production of battery cells in the upcoming giga factories.

FREYR Battery has strategic collaborations with SINTEF and NTNU for research and development within battery technology. Several collaborative projects have been established with NTNU and close collaboration in the laboratories of SINTEF in Trondheim. A further development and expansion of the collaboration through the pilot project is expected.

Giga Factory, Freyr Battery, Mo i Rana

If FREYR succeeds with the pilot plant project in Mo i Rana and gets the technology verified for mass production, this could have a major impact on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from global battery cell production. At the same time, it is expected that a reduced price of battery cells will lead to increased demand and new markets for batteries, which will accelerate the green shift and the transition to renewable energy.

The UN's sustainability goals have been adopted by Freyr, and the company seeks strong sustainability for all its operations. An important element in this is the use of raw materials from the Nordic countries with the shortest possible shipping distances. For FREYR is therefore looking for suppliers who can supply active materials for battery production that are made from renewable energy.

Where FREYR has to source materials in the global market, it is crucial that suppliers certify that the materials have been produced in a responsible manner, outside of conflict areas and under conditions that show due respect for international labor standards and the environment.

FREYR Battery's CEO, Tom Jensen elaborates on the company's philosophy in this interview:

The size of FREYR's establishment is so large that it will create significant and exciting ripple effects. Some of this is that the Mo i Rana region will attract many ambitious workers with great expertise in battery technology and industrial construction. Fortunately, the town and region have done this before and is well prepared. The arrangements are now being made for the construction of new homes and reinforced facilities for kindergartens, schools, and health.

For more than 130 years, Mo i Rana has been an international melting pot where the challenge to meet and learn new technology is normal. Local people look forward to exciting meetings with newcomers from other parts of the country and from other countries and cultures. The local community hopes that new thoughts and ideas will eventually make their mark on the cultural and community life.

Giga Factory, Freyr Battery, housing, Mo i Rana
Giga Factory, Freyr Battery, vacancies, housing, Mo i Rana
Freyr Battery, current vacancies, career site, Mo i Rana
Giga Factory, living, Mo i Rana, schools

New and modern school buildings

Giga Factory, Freyr Battery, Mo i Rana, kindergarten

23 kindergartens with

skilled and dedicated crew

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