The Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt is investing in lithium in Portugal. A new factory will produce 35,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year, enough for 700,000 electric car batteries.
Swedish Northvolt presents an investment in an enrichment plant in Portugal, where low-enriched lithium will be converted into lithium hydroxide that is needed in battery production. Northvolt will start a joint venture called Aurora with the Portuguese energy and chemical company Galp and jointly invest 700 million Euro in a new factory that is expected to provide 1,500 new jobs.
The factory is planned to be completed and have production started in 2026 and is then expected to be able to produce 35,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide annually, which is sufficient for 50-gigawatt hours of battery production. That is enough for batteries for about 700,000 electric car batteries.
Northvolt explains the Aurora-investment in Portugal by wanting to replace less sustainable production in China. The fact that the factory ends up in Portugal is due to the fact that the country has large lithium reserves and good access to green electricity, including from wind power along the Atlantic coast. Exactly where Northvolt’s and Galp’s lithium plant will be built has not yet been decided.