Morrow raises $26m for battery pilot plant

Morrow raises $26m for battery pilot plant

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Morrow plans to use the investment for the construction of an innovation centre in Grimstad, the detailed engineering of the pilot cell factory in Arendal, product development and prototyping of the battery cell and accelerated development of customer partnerships.

The investment round was led by Danish pension fund PKA with existing shareholders NOAH AS and Agder Energi Venture are also investing additional capital. The town of Arendal, where the pilot line is to be built, contributed NOK10m (US$1.1m)

Morrow has also submitted grant applications to Norwegian grant authorities with a combined value equivalent to the private placement. Following the investment, Morrow is valued at NOK 1.5bn (US$130m). However the multiple gigafactory plants around Europe from companies such as NorthVolt have been raising hundreds of millions of dollars in investment to meet projected demand for electric vehicles (see below).

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“We are pleased to bring in quality investors such as PKA, while existing shareholders also have participated in the new capital raise. The interest from the market is solid, and we have now fully financed our next development step,” said Terje Andersen, CEO of Morrow.

The company plans to start production of cells in the fourth quarter of 2024, and the factory will have an annual capacity of 42 GWh battery cells when fully operational. It has teamed up with Siemens and ABB for the equipment in the factory.

“Europe’s need for batteries is growing rapidly. Our ambition is to manufacture the world’s greenest batteries, and during 2021 we have recruited some of the best talent in the industry,” said Andersen. “In addition, we have entered into important partner agreements with Elkem, Haldor Topsøe, ABB and Siemens, which means that we are on track to realize Morrow Giga Factory in the fourth quarter of 2024. The factory will be able to supply batteries for more than 700,000 electric vehicles annually, and with our unique mix of technology, low costs, access to renewable energy, and a short distance to Europe, we will become a leading battery producer in the coming decades.”

In addition to the gigafactory, Morrow will establish Morrow Industrialization Centre with a pilot cell factory in Arendal with a research centre in Grimstad. The area around Arendal and Grimstad is further developing the “The Norwegian Battery Coast”, with unique access to renewable energy, strong local commitment, and proximity to the European market. Morrow will employ more than 2.500 employees when the factory is fully operational.

“To develop and manufacture sustainable batteries, you need highly skilled people and partners involved in all stages of the operation. Morrow has recruited a strong international team with members having backgrounds from leading companies such as Samsung, Audi, Hilti and Haldor Topsøe, bringing additional industrial competence and market knowledge to our company. In addition, we have entered into important agreements with Arendal municipality for plot area and access to the harbour,” he added.

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