he world’s largest manufacturer of casings for lithium-ion batteries, China’s Kedali (KDL), is preparing to set up production in Sweden to provide Northvolt’s gigafactory (Northvolt Ett) with casings – a critical battery component.
The planned investment by Kedali, which is headquartered in China’s tech hub Shenzhen, is expected to be in the tens of millions of euros and involve around 200 new jobs in Skellefteå, northern Sweden.
The company will supply square shell casings for Northvolt’s batteries from an on-site production facility at the gigafactory in Sweden, which is expected to come online 2023 with an annual capacity of 40 GWh. Kedali is thereby the first international company to invest in Sweden’s flourishing battery industry and will be a key player in the manufacturing value chain.
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“Our partnership with Northvolt expands our overseas market and is important for our presence in Europe. This close collaboration model will greatly decrease costs and increase the efficiency of our supply, which creates mutual benefits for both of us. It will also play an important role in enhancing Kedali’s global competitiveness,” says Jianju Li, General Manager, Kedali.
Jaani Heinonen, Director, Invest Advisory Asia Pacific at Business Sweden, comments:
“Kedali’s leading know-how in caps and casings is an essential piece of the puzzle that Sweden’s battery cluster has lacked. This investment is an important benchmark and proves Sweden’s advantages as a battery manufacturing nation as it brings great value to the local and regional ecosystem. We are very pleased and excited about Kedali’s partnership with Northvolt in Skellefteå.”
PILOT PROJECT FOR AUTOMATION
Northvolt’s high output target is a key reason why Kedali has opted for an integrated on-site production model. Sweden will be the company’s first overseas production site and until now all casings have been shipped to major EV markets worldwide from the Shenzhen plant.
According to Jianju Li, the integrated production approach is a strong guarantee for quality products and cost control.
“Our overseas investments are paying off and we are constantly improving efficiency. This integrated production model follows the market trend as we respond to growing demand for batteries across Europe. The high level of quality inspection will also prove that our products comply with the highest European standards,” says Jianju Li.
Another unique aspect is the automation factor. Kedali’s factory in Sweden will be a pilot project aiming to explore ways of increasing automation to further enhance the company’s manufacturing capacity for caps and casings in both Europe and China.