First LFP battery cathode factory outside China for Nordics

First LFP battery cathode factory outside China for Nordics

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Freyr Battery in Norway plans to set up a joint venture factory for lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathodes in the Nordic region, the first outside China.

The first stage of the joint venture agreement with Taiwanese material supplier Aleees will see the two seek to start production in 2024, coinciding with the anticipated ramp-up of operations from Feyr’s first battery gigafactory in Mo i Rana, Norway.

The formation of the JV will seek to combine Aleees’ 17 years of experience in LFP cathode production with Freyr’s strategy of manufacturing decarbonized battery cells at scale and the Freyr team’s extensive experience in conducting and constructing complex technical projects in the Nordic region.

The partners plan to develop an initial 10,000 tonnes of LFP cathode material per year in the Nordic region by 2024, which is estimated to be sufficient to supply FREYR’s first gigafactory. This would expand to at least 30,000 tonnes by 2025 using Aleees’ modular LFP plant design.

Freyr has started building the first of its planned factories in Mo i Rana, Norway and announced potential development of industrial scale battery cell production in Vaasa, Finland, and the US, intending to deliver up to 43 GWh of battery cell capacity by 2025 and up to 83 GWh annual capacity by 2028.

Aleees is an approved supplier of cathode material to 24M Technologies, Freyr’s US-based partner and a key partner for Volkswagen’s battery supply chain. 24M’s SemiSolid technology platform features a larger and thicker electrode design that is intended to deliver higher energy density per volumetric unit while also reducing production costs.

Aleees and Freyr plan to collaboratively develop a Nordic supply chain encompassing iron and phosphate products from the region. Freyr is also working to bring lithium refining capacity to Norway to ensure a consistent supply of quality raw materials.

The JV with Aleees is one of several initiatives Freyr has underway to support LFP cathode production. LFP batteries have lower energy density and cannot charge as fast as lithium ion batteries but can produce more power and are safer and less liable to catch fire, making them more suitable for high power applicatons such as electric trucks and energy storage systems for renewable energy.   

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Locating the facility in Norway instead of Taiwan would reduce CO2 emissions by 50,000 tonnes per year based on the difference in CO2 intensity between the grids of the respective countries. The environmental benefit is projected to roughly equate to removing 20,000 cars per year with combustion engines from the roads, which would increase to the equivalent of 60,000 cars as capacity ramps beyond 2025.

“This agreement with Aleees, which calls for the construction of the first giga scale LFP cathode plant outside mainland China, is another important step on our journey to localize and decarbonize battery cell production and their supply chains in the Nordic region,” said Tom Einar Jensen, CEO of Freyr. “Freyr and Aleees intend to establish the plant as part of a broader localized supply chain strategy that will leverage the abundance of cost-advantaged, renewable energy in the Nordics and the growing availability of raw materials produced in the region. We will be examining a limited number of suitable locations in the Nordic region over the next months.”

“Aleees has world-class production technology and R&D capabilities, with the aim to continuously improve energy density, while reducing end-market costs. The cooperation with FREYR will further allow us to improve the production process of cathode materials for LFP batteries to contribute to the reduction of global emissions. The combination of FREYR’s clean battery production and Aleees’ deep experience in LFP cathode production and established production capacity, will provide the basis for innovative solutions to the battery solutions worldwide,” said Edward Chang, CEO and founder of Aleees.

Aleees was founded in 2005 and has more than 200 independent patents worldwide, supplying battery, electric vehicle and energy storage battery customers in Europe, America, Japan, Korea, and Asia.;

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