FREYR, a developer of clean, next-generation battery cells, has received a grant of NOK 39M (approx €3.8M) from Innovation Norway – the Norwegian Government’s key instrument for supporting innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry.
The grant is provided in the “environmental technology” category and relates to Innovation Norway’s task of encouraging R&D projects, domestic value generation, and the creation of responsible businesses. The grant is expected to be paid during 2021 and follows an evaluation process that started in the fall of 2020.
Prior to this, the company had previously received NOK 9M (approx €879K) in grants from Innovation Norway, bringing total accumulated grants to NOK 48M (approx €4.6M)
Use of the funds
“FREYR’s ambition is to make battery cells with the world’s lowest carbon footprint. We want to position ourselves as a leading European supplier of sustainable battery cells based on clean Norwegian energy, next-generation technology, battery materials sourced from regional providers, and a local ecosystem of sub-suppliers. The support from Innovation Norway is valuable to us, both financially and as a recognition of the ongoing work,” says Tom Einar Jensen, the CEO of FREYR.
What does the company offer?
Led by CEO Tom Einar Jensen, FREYR plans to develop up to 43 GWh of battery cell production capacity by 2025. The facilities will be located in the Mo i Rana (a town in Norway) industrial complex in Northern Norway. The company claims it will supply safe, high energy density, and cost-competitive clean battery cells to the global markets for electric vehicles, energy storage, and marine applications.
“Production of clean low-cost batteries represent one of the best opportunities for developing a sustainable and profitable Norwegian renewable industry in the coming decade,” says Tom Jensen.
FREYR plans to utilise next-generation battery technology and Norway’s inherent advantages, including access to renewable energy, low electricity prices, and closeness to rapidly growing markets in Europe and the US.
Innovation Norway is the Norwegian Government’s and the County Municipalities’ most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry. It contributes to sustainable growth and exports for Norwegian businesses through capital and competence.
“Since the outset, we have been engaged in the ambition of establishing production of battery cells at Mo i Rana (a town in southern Norway). We are very pleased to be able to further support FREYR in the ongoing industrial development which is important to the Norwegian business community with great potential for job creation and exports. It will contribute greatly to establishing a complete eco-system and value chain for green industry development,” says Håkon Haugli, the CEO of Innovation Norway.
He further added that “Norway is strongly positioned to develop industrial production to meet the growing demand for clean battery cells. Still, it requires strong cooperation between companies, investors, authorities, and policy agencies. This is a good example of just that.”
To become a public listed company?
Earlier on 29 January this year, FREYR had announced to become a publicly listed company through a business combination with Alussa Energy Acquisition Corp., raising about $850M (approx €701M) in equity funding to accelerate the development of clean battery cell manufacturing capacity in Norway.
The transaction also includes a $600M (approx €494.4M) fully committed Private Investment in Public Equity (“PIPE”) anchored by strategic and institutional investors, including Koch Strategic Platforms, Glencore, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Franklin Templeton, Sylebra Capital, and Van Eck Associates Corporation.
Upon closing of this deal – which could be in the second quarter of this year, the combined company will be renamed “FREYR Battery” and be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol “FREY”
100 per cent of FREYR’s existing shares will roll over into the combined company.
“We have experienced wide support from politicians, business organisations, and the Norwegian technology community locally and nationally since we started FREYR in 2018. The company has moved from the drawing-board to now becoming reality with the support of many stakeholders, with capital from financial and strategic investors as announced a few weeks ago, and last but not least through support from Innovation Norway which contributed at an early stage and now again in an important development phase,” says Torstein Dale Sjøtveit, founder and executive chairman of FREYR.