ABB and Northvolt partner to build Europe's largest battery factory
By Process Online Staff
Friday, 29 September, 2017
ABB and Northvolt have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a wide-ranging supply and technology partnership, including products and services for Northvolt’s state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery factory and close collaboration on development of battery solutions and R&D activities. ABB Technology Ventures (ATV) will support the initial phase of this project through an early investment.
Northvolt is going to build Europe’s largest and most advanced lithium-ion battery factory in Sweden. Supported by ABB’s industrial automation expertise, integrating robotics, machine and factory automation, electrification and ABB Ability, the factory will supply European customers in the automotive and other key industries with high-quality and customisable battery solutions. The factory is expected to start production in 2020. A demonstration line will be ready by 2019 and will allow Northvolt to continuously optimise products and processes.
“We are excited to support Northvolt’s project to build the battery factory of the future here in one of our home countries,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “This uniquely integrated factory would be a true showcase for ABB’s leadership in industrial automation and smart electrification and would help to meet the ever-increasing demand for smarter, greener storage solutions.”
Renewable energy and storage are the keys to a carbon neutral society. The shift to e-mobility alone will drive the need for batteries to new heights. The ability to store energy is also crucial to free the world’s energy generation and distribution from fossil fuels in a phased manner.
“The world is moving quickly towards electrification. We want to enable this transition by building the largest, cutting-edge lithium-ion battery factory on the European continent and producing the world’s greenest batteries. ABB is at the forefront of the electrification, and we are delighted to have them on board as strategic partner, key supplier and investor,” said Peter Carlsson, CEO of Northvolt.
The products and services that ABB intend to supply include a fully integrated robotics, automation and electrification solution including ABB’s distributed control system ABB Ability System 800xA as well as advanced digital solutions such as ABB Ability Manufacturing Operations Management, making this factory a showcase for Industry 4.0.
Both partners have agreed on a technology collaboration to drive innovation in battery technology in areas such as the production platform, cell and module design, and battery performance. The companies intend to have a close collaboration on the development of battery solutions for mobile and stationary applications, including the potential sourcing of batteries.
“We see great potential in partnering with Northvolt to develop environmentally friendly solutions for utilities and industry as well as infrastructure and transportation. This is a true milestone for us and our customers in our aim for a fossil fuel-free society, especially here in Sweden,” said Johan Söderström, MD ABB Sweden.
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