ABB and Northvolt are expanding their long-standing collaboration in the field of green batteries, which are playing an increasingly important role in the energy transition. Already since 2017, ABB has provided key electrification and automation technology to Northvolt Ett, the lithium-ion battery gigafactory in Sweden. This partnership will now also include battery recycling: ABB will supply the process electrification for the operation of the world’s largest battery recycling plant, Revolt Ett, which Northvolt is building in Skellefteå in northern Sweden. Financial details were not disclosed. The contract was booked in the first quarter of 2023.
The Revolt Ett recycling plant is expected to recycle 125,000 metric tons of spent batteries and waste from battery production annually in the final stage of expansion. This will make it the world’s largest facility of its kind and support Northvolt’s gigafactory at the same site, which commissioned a production block in 2022. Further blocks are to follow to reach a production capacity of 60 GWh per year.
Northvolt supplies various lithium-ion batteries for the automotive sector, industry and large-scale energy storage to support the global energy transition. In this, the battery manufacturer is in line with forecasts from the World Economic Forum that demand for batteries is expected to increase fourteenfold by 2030 as part of the transition to electric mobility. ABB is supplying switchgear and variable frequency drives for the plant that will control the speed of processes in the factory, ramp up or down power as needed, save energy, improve performance and reduce maintenance.
The plant, a key element of Northvolt’s sustainability strategy, is scheduled to be operational in 2023. The company aims to reduce the carbon footprint of its batteries to ten kilograms of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) by 2030, compared to an industry reference value of 98 kilograms CO2e/kWh. To achieve this goal, Northvolt Ett is powered by 100 percent fossil-free energy.
More and more batteries on the market are reaching their end of life. Against this background, Northvolt Ett aims to cover up to 50 percent of its raw material requirements for lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese by 2030 through battery materials recovered at Revolt Ett using hydrometallurgical processes. By 2030, Northvolt’s production capacity at the company’s sites in Sweden and Germany is expected to be 150 GWh per year.