Scholz hails the Northvolt factory as a symbol of Germany’s industrial interest

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany is and will remain a strong industrial center, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday as he opened construction on the Northvolt battery factory in Heide, in northern Schleswig-Holstein.

The Swedish battery maker and manufacturer will produce climate-friendly battery cells for 1 million vehicles a year at the facility.

“Investments like the one made by Northvolt are very important for our country and for Europe,” Scholz said at the event. “Made in Germany” battery cells can help make cars go beyond combustion engines, he added.

Northvolt mentioned the term “sufficient wind power” found on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein, where Heide is located.

The company said that this is a key point in determining location. Germany’s first wind farm was built in the Dithmarschen region in 1987, it said.

The assembly of cells in the new factory is planned for 2026, and its final expansion should be completed in 2029. The investment will amount to 4.5 billion ($4.86 billion) and 3,000 new jobs should be created, Northvolt said.

The first negotiations for the project took place in September 2021, and the site has now been built on an area of ​​110 hectares.

The EU Commission in January approved state aid for the project. In total, there are subsidies of 902 million euros – 700 million are subsidies and 202 million are guarantees, as explained earlier.

($1 = 0.9255 euros)

(Reporting by Emma-Victoria Farr and Christian Kraemer, writing by Miranda Murray)

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