Northvolt commits to Quebec gigafactory

The Swedish battery maker is heading to North America

Northvolt commits to Quebec gigafactory
A 3-D rendering of what the new Northvolt Six gigafactory may look like

Stockholm-headquartered battery firm Northvolt will establish a 60GWh/yr gigafactory, just outside of Montreal, Quebec. The plant will also have adjacent facilities for cathode active material (CAM) production and battery recycling, enabling fully circular production

Construction of a first C7bn ($5bn) 30 GWh/yr phase of the project, called Northvolt Six, will start before the end of 2023. First operations are set to begin in 2026.

The firm has opted for Quebec in part because the province’s hydroelectric capacity guarantees cell production from 100pc renewable energy. The region also represents an “ideal location” in the North American automotive value chain, Northvolt says.

“We have in Northvolt Six enormous potential, not only to rapidly expand our ability to bring sustainable batteries into markets of North America, but to accelerate Quebec’s emergence as a key actor in the global energy transition,” says Paolo Cerruti, co-founder and CEO of Northvolt North America.

“With its unique access to renewable power and raw materials, we see this as the ideal base of operations for Northvolt’s first gigafactory outside of Europe.” Canada is touting itself as the only Western Hemisphere country with domestic supply of all the raw materials required withing the EV battery supply chain.,

Northvolt counts OEMs such as Germany’s BMW and Volkswagen, as well as the latter’s truck brand Scania, and Sweden’s Volvo Cars as existing customers. The company is currently delivering batteries from its first gigafactory in northeastern Sweden and an R&D campus just west of Stockholm.

The firm promises high-performance lithium-ion cells based around its proprietary Lingonberry nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) chemistry available in cylindrical and prismatic formats. Consultancy Rystad Energy suggested this week that Europe and North America should be well served for NMC CAM and battery plants from existing and planned projects. The greater crunch could be for supply of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries on both sides of the Atlantic.  

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