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Norwegian battery maker FREYR in talks to build US gigafactory

Highlights

JV gigafactory could have capacity of 50GWh/year by 2030

Draft MoU negotiated, key JV terms still not agreed

Natural step into North American battery market

Norway-based battery manufacturer FREYR is in negotiations with an unnamed multinational conglomerate to potentially build a battery production plant in the US.

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FREYR said June 11 that FREYR and the unnamed company had started negotiating a draft non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a potential joint venture to be formed to build a gigafactory and potentially related facilities that could have a production capacity of up to 50 GWh/year by 2030.

As part of the negotiations, FREYR and the unnamed JV partner exchanged draft terms outlining the key commercial points of the potential joint venture in May, but have not yet agreed in principle on many key terms of the JV, including economic and investment terms.

FREYR said the draft MoU provided a framework for its cooperation and that the company and the unnamed JV partner would work to enter into certain additional arrangements for the JV to use US-developed solutions from 24M Technologies at the potential battery manufacturing facility, which would require a modification to FREYR's existing 24M license agreement.

However, it added that there was no guarantee that the draft MoU, if entered into, would lead to the signing of binding documentation.

FREYR CEO Tom Einar Jansen said including North America in the company's long-term plans for expanding its clean, low-cost and low-carbon battery cells production was a natural step.

"This ambition was clearly validated by the US Department of Energy's call this week for immediate actions to scale up the US supply chain for battery materials and technologies," Jansen said.

He added that FREYR already had strong US links through its technology partner 24M, as well as the upcoming business combination with Alussa Energy and a New York Stock Exchange listing.

Alussa Energy CEO Daniel Barcelo said the potential JV demonstrated that other companies within the battery manufacturing ecosystem viewed FREYR's sustainable platform as a "robust starting point for scaling business opportunities into one of the largest markets in the world."

In January, FREYR announced that it would be listing on the NYSE through a business combination with Alussa Energy to become FREYR Battery.

The move will raise around $850 million in equity proceeds to accelerate the development of up to 43 GWh clean battery cell manufacturing capacity at the Mo i Rana industrial complex in northern Norway by 2025.

The transaction is still expected to close before the end of Q2 2021.