Norway-based FREYR Battery and Taiwan-based Aleees, a producer of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode materials for batteries, have signed a Head of Terms agreement to pursue a joint venture with the ambition to establish an LFP cathode plant in the Nordic region. The joint venture partners will seek to commence production in 2024, coinciding with the anticipated ramp-up of operations from FREYR’s first Gigafactory in Mo i Rana, Norway.
The formation of the JV will seek to combine Aleees’ 17 years of experience in LFP cathode production with FREYR’s strategy of manufacturing decarbonized battery cells at scale and the FREYR team’s extensive experience in conducting and constructing complex technical projects in the Nordic region.
The partners will focus on the following priorities to drive value in accordance with FREYR’s core strategic tenets of speed, scale, and sustainability:
The proposed facility should be the world’s first giga scale LFP cathode plant outside mainland China. The JV partners plan to develop an initial 10,000 tonnes of LFP cathode material per year in the Nordic region by 2024, which is estimated to be sufficient to supply FREYR’s first Gigafactory. The JV’s secondary ambition is to expand quickly to at least 30,000 tonnes by 2025 using Aleees’ modular LFP plant design.
Aleees is an approved supplier of cathode material to 24M Technologies, Inc. (24M), FREYR’s US-based partner. 24M’s SemiSolid technology platform features a larger and thicker electrode design that is intended to deliver higher energy density per volumetric unit while also reducing production costs.
Aleees and FREYR plan to develop collaboratively a Nordic supply chain encompassing iron and phosphate products from the Nordic region. FREYR is also working to bring lithium refining capacity to Norway to ensure a consistent supply of quality raw materials.
Establishing a Nordic supply chain is expected to bring strong economic benefits to FREYR and the Nordic region based on localized and decarbonized production and transportation of raw materials to battery cell manufacturing facilities. The JV with Aleees is one of several initiatives FREYR has underway to support LFP cathode production.
According to Minviro, a London-based consultancy that specializes in providing quantitative environmental impact data and mitigation strategies for resource projects, locating the facility in Norway instead of Taiwan would reduce CO2 emissions by 50,000 tonnes per year based on the difference in CO2 intensity between the grids of the respective countries. The environmental benefit is projected to roughly equate to removing 20,000 cars per year with combustion engines from the roads, which would increase to the equivalent of 60,000 cars as capacity ramps beyond 2025.
FREYR intends to deliver up to 43 GWh of battery cell capacity by 2025 and up to 83 GWh annual capacity by 2028.
Aleees develops and produces high-quality, cost-effective, and longer cycle life LFP cathode materials. In the 17 years since its establishment, it has accumulated more than 15,000 tons of shipments and accumulated revenue of nearly US$240 million.