Freyr inks deals with Sumisho Metalex, Itochu, for Norway battery cells project

by John Shepherd
Freyr plans to start operating at gigawatt-hour scale capacity in Norway from 2022. Image: Freyr
Battery developer Freyr said today it had a signed a deal with Japan’s Sumisho Metalex Corporation (SMX), to speed up plans to build a lithium-ion cell manufacturing complex in Norway.

Under the terms of the services agreement, Tokyo-based materials and components supplier SMX will find and qualify potential Japanese battery cell technology providers to help Freyr "accelerate” the development of its production facilities in Mo i Rana, south of the Arctic Circle.

SMX will also invest in Freyr under a separate, payment-in-kind for equity deal, by providing services and competencies.

'Joint commercialisation'

The agreements were announced just days after Freyr said it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan’s Itochu Corporation for the "joint commercialisation of renewable energy solutions” and offtake of battery cells manufactured by Freyr.

Freyr said it is the first European battery cell company to sign such an agreement with Itochu, which is a key investor in Moixa, the UK-based smart battery and electric vehicle charging software company.

Under the agreement, Freyr and Itochu will "jointly explore" cooperation on lithium-ion battery production, energy storage systems and "other related business opportunities” across the European Economic Area.

Pilot facility

Itochu may also buy battery cells from a pilot facility under construction by Freyr, as well as providing materials and production equipment.

Itochu is a shareholder in US company 24M, with which Freyr has signed a framework agreement for the in-licensing of semi-solid electrode battery technology.

Freyr plans to start installing and operating mass production facilities at gigawatt-hour scale capacity in Norway from 2022. The company is preparing to order equipment for an initial large-scale pilot line – and aims to start installing the equipment at Mo i Rana, during the second half of 2021.

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