From left: Liv Monica Stubholt, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, Frederic Hauge, Kjell Roland, Steffen Syvertsen, Håkon Tanem, Robert Cornels Nordli, Jimmy Bengtsson
Morrow Batteries (Morrow) and Siva are building a battery factory that will contribute to value creation far beyond the battery coast of southern Norway.
While laying the cornerstone for Battery Factory 1 in Arendal, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said that the new factory will be an essential contribution to the government’s efforts to boost domestic battery production and enable Norway to compete at the global level.
The goal of the government’s battery strategy is clear: Norway wants to be an attractive host country for sustainable and profitable activity along the entire battery value chain and aims to attract the gigafactories themselves. By laying this cornerstone, the Norwegian battery industry has passed another significant milestone for the industrialisation of batteries in the country.
In his celebratory speech before laying down the corner stone, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said:
“This is a great day for Arendal, it is a great day for Norway, and I would say that it is also a great day for Europe and beyond. Because today we are writing history in Norway. And to all of you who are here today, especially the young ones; Today we witness the first building steps for a new, large and future-oriented workplace that can both help save the climate on the planet, provide jobs for people, and create good local communities and take Norway forward. It is simply a historic day. So congratulations on that, first of all!”
Building a factory in Arendal
Siva – Industrial Development Corporation of Norway – has partnered with Morrow to establish a joint property company to erect the building at Eyde Energipark in Arendal, which will be the first of four construction phases. Battery Factory 1 is being built by Veidekke and will encompass nearly 30,000 m2 of usable floor space.
Siva is a state enterprise owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries, whose task is to support the government’s industrial policies through various initiatives. Siva is contributing 67 percent of the NOK 480 million property investment.
“Siva has more than 50 years of experience in building forward-looking industry. This construction project addresses many important focus areas for Norway, from increased exports to the green industry and battery production promotion. Today’s event marks the beginning of an exciting and critical project for Norway,” says Siva’s Board Chair Kjell Roland.
Aiming for a gigafactory
“This is a historic day for Morrow, Arendal, and the battery coast of Norway. Once complete, this factory can deliver several million battery cells a year to customers for uses such as energy storage systems. We will also use the factory to qualify Morrow as a supplier to the automotive industry,” says acting CEO Håkon Tanem.
Morrow has already ordered production equipment worth more than NOK 1 billion. The factory will be part of the overall infrastructure for the industrialisation of battery technology and battery production that is currently under construction. In the first half of 2023, Morrow will open Norway’s largest battery research centre in Grimstad. Meanwhile, prototype battery cell production will be underway this autumn at a customer qualification line in South Korea. When the factory building is ready, the customer qualification line will be moved to Arendal.
Morrow’s ambition is to develop and produce better batteries and to be at the forefront of developing new battery and materials technology. Access to renewable energy means that, from day one, the factory will produce some of the most cost-effective and sustainable batteries in the world.
“When Battery Cell Factory 1 is operative, we can take new products from the research and development phase to mass production. So we will soon be very well positioned to take a position in tomorrow’s competitive battery market,” says Håkon Tanem
When the factory starts up, it will have an annual production capacity of 1 gigawatt hour (GWh) of battery cells. Once all four construction phases are done, total capacity is planned to reach 43 GWh. It is estimated that, overall, Morrow’s project will create around 2,500 new jobs over the next six years.
The laying of the cornerstone for Arendal’s new battery factory attracted many curious Arendalites, busloads of schoolchildren, and a host of prominent guests. Veidekke gave demos of their equipment and hosted educational activities for the school children about future jobs. Emrik Andreasson from Arendal International School and Selma Bjelkemyr from The San Franciskus School helped the Prime Minister with the official ceremony. The event was led by Leander B. Larsen (9 years old) and Amalie H. Lilleholt (12 years old) from Child Press Arendal.