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Industrial digitalization and smart electrification of state-of-the-art battery factory in Sweden

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.

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Europe’s largest and most advanced lithium-ion battery factory

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 AbilityTM, ABB’s unified, cross-industry digital offering, into one overall solution, the factory will supply European customers in the automotive and key industries with high quality and customizable 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 optimize 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.”


At the forefront of the electrification

The Energy Revolution has spurred the use of renewable energy sources and lowered the reliance on fossil fuels. Electrification 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.

Facts

Industry: Manufacturing

Company: Northvolt

Countries: Sweden

Solutions:


Making a true showcase for Industry 4.0

The products and services that ABB intend to supply include a fully integrated robotics, automation and electrification solution including ABB’s industry-leading distributed control system ABB AbilityTM System 800xA as well as advanced digital solutions such as ABB AbilityTM Manufacturing Operations Management, making this factory a true showcase for Industry 4.0.

Both partners have agreed on a technology collaboration to drive innovation in battery technology in areas such as production platform, cell and module design, and battery performance. The companies intend to have a close collaboration on 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 environmental friendly solutions for utilities, industry as well as infrastructure & transportation. This is a true milestone for us and our customers in our aim for a fossil fuel free society, especially here in Sweden”, says Johan Söderström, MD ABB Sweden.


Ulrich Spiesshofer, ABB CEO
"We will support Northvolt with our leading capability to build factories that are unique in terms of uptime, speed and yield"
Sketch of the lithium-ion battery factory, which is scheduled to start production in 2020. Image: northvolt

Northvolt has chosen Västerås, the hometown of its partner in the effort, ABB Sweden, as the location for the program’s Research and Development operations and a demonstration production line.

ABB Sweden hailed the choice of Västerås, which will provide an opportunity to leverage the company’s local expertise and continue the city’s growth as a technology center, while enhancing Swedish competitiveness as a whole.

Volume production of the batteries will be conducted at a factory located 740 kilometers to the north, in Skellefteå, Sweden, Northvolt said.

The demonstration line in Västerås will be ready by 2019 and enable Northvolt to continuously optimize products and processes. The lithium-ion battery factory will start production in 2020.

The new Västerås and Skellefteå operations will showcase ABB’s leadership in industrial automation expertise, integrating robotics, machine and factory automation, electrification and ABB Ability – ABB’s unified, cross-industry digital offering.



Johan Söderström, Managing Director, ABB Sweden
“This is very positive for Sweden and for Västerås as a city. With the Northvolt R&D site and factory for the demonstration line, there are 500 employment opportunities. We are proud to be a part of the operations as we will support Northvolt with ABB’s industrial automation and smart electrification solutions”

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