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Sweden’s Northvolt launches huge battery plant in Germany

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A symbolic start was made in north-western Germany on Monday on constructing a multibillion euro plant making battery cells for electric cars after state funding and local permits were approved.

Swedish company Northvolt plans to invest €4.5 billion ($4.9 billion) in the plant near Heide in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein. Once completed, the project will produce up to a million battery cells and generate 3,000 jobs. Production is set to start in 2026.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Economy Minister Robert Habeck are expected for the opening ceremony, along with Northvolt chief executive Peter Carlsson and Schleswig-Holstein Premier Daniel Günther.

The project is being seen as a pathfinder in the federal government’s energy and transport transition in a region where wind power is plentiful.

Northvolt plans to mass-produce the “greenest battery in the world.” The plant will make use of purified effluent from the region for cooling. Excess heat could be used in a potential district heating grid for Heide, a town of some 22,000 people that lies inland from the North Sea coast to the north of Hamburg.

There are also plans for a recycling facility for old electric car batteries.

“The plant will provide a boost for the whole of Schleswig-Holstein and in particular for the west coast,” the state’s economy minister, Claus Ruhe Madsen, said.

The aim is for the region to become a hub for the energy transition on the basis of green energy from wind power and research facilities already established there.

CEO of Northvolt Peter Carlsson speaks before the start of construction of the Northvolt factory, which will produce battery cells for electric cars from 2026. Marcus Brandt/dpa

CEO of Northvolt Peter Carlsson speaks before the start of construction of the Northvolt factory, which will produce battery cells for electric cars from 2026. Marcus Brandt/dpa

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks before the start of construction of the Northvolt factory, which will produce battery cells for electric cars from 2026. Marcus Brandt/dpa

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks before the start of construction of the Northvolt factory, which will produce battery cells for electric cars from 2026. Marcus Brandt/dpa

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