A gigafactory to produce greener batteries in Sweden
As Europe transitions to electric cars and, with the end of sales of new internal combustion engine cars in 2035, the need for electric batteries to support the transition is growing.
To remain competitive in the field of electric cars, European battery manufacturing plants projects are following one another. Among them, the Northvolt Ett gigafactory for lithium-ion battery cells sets itself apart.
Located in Skellefteå in northern Sweden, the gigafactory is being developed by Northvolt, Europe's first home-grown lithium-ion battery manufacturer founded in 2016, to serve long-term offtake contracts with strategic partners, including BMW, Scania, Volvo Cars and Volkswagen Group. With production ramping up, the plant is expected to expand to a total capacity of 60 GWh – sufficient to power some one million electric vehicles per year and provide employment to over 4,000 people.
Focus on renewable power and recycling
Pioneering a sustainable model for battery manufacturing, Northvolt Ett is built using the most innovative technologies in Europe. With access to large sources of renewable power, in particular hydroelectricity, the plant aims to produce the world’s greenest batteries carrying minimal carbon footprint, with a target of 10kg CO2e/kWh by 2030, representing a 90% lower carbon footprint compared to the comparable industry reference.
Cautious of the need for a responsible approach to the sourcing of raw materials, Northvolt also aims to develop a circular model through in-house battery recycling, targeting 50% of recycled materials for battery cell production by 2030. To this effect, the Revolt Ett recycling is being built alongside Northvolt Ett gigafactory for a recycling capacity of 125,000 tons of battery materials per year, including production scrap from its neighboring facility.
Societe Generale has supported Northvolt since 2020 in their sustainable approach to battery manufacturing, contributing directly to Europe’s shift to a cleaner future.
The bank acted as Mandated Lead Arranger and Technical Bank in the initial project financing of Northvolt Ett in 2020, and in 2023, for the expansion and refinancing Northvolt Ett with a role of Senior Mandated Lead Arranger and Technical and Market Pathfinder Bank. With mining and metals broadly recognized as enablers of the energy transition, Societe Generale’s Mining, Metals & Industries Finance team is dedicated to supporting clients that are contributing to a sustainable future, across the value chain.
This financing is a milestone for the European energy transition. It will enable us to realize the full potential of Northvolt Ett and demonstrates that circular, sustainable business practices are fundamental to success in today’s industry.
Societe Generale has been by our side for many years now, and they have been a key partner in enabling our expansion. Acting as Technical and Market Pathfinder Bank, they demonstrated again their commitment to support our ambition to mass produce the world’s greenest battery.
Northvolt’s ambition to establish a new and sustainable model for battery manufacturing is truly admirable and resonates strongly with our own objectives to contribute to a low carbon future. Northvolt’s industrial strategy will enable electrification in Europe, and we are thrilled to support their plans.