TECO 2030 plans to establish Norway’s first large-scale production of hydrogen-based fuel cells in Narvik, northern Norway
TECO 2030 chief executive Tore Enger said “We plan to establish a combined innovation centre and factory in Narvik. The plant will be able to produce fuel cells with a capacity of more than 1 GW per year, equivalent to several billion Norwegian krone of annual turnover.”
By converting hydrogen into electricity with water vapour and hot air as the only emissions, fuel cells enable ships to switch to alternative energy sources from fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The company said it considered several potential locations for the factory including eastern Norway before settling on Narvik. The factory will be established in a facility that was previously home to a plant operated by solar company REC.
The former REC building belonged to state-owned Industrial Development Corporation of Norway, but was recently purchased by real estate company Kubera, which will lease it to TECO 2030 on a long-term lease with a purchase option.
Mr Enger said “After it was announced that we were planning a factory in Norway, we received close to 30 serious suggestions for possible locations. We truly appreciate the interest and all the input, but the former REC building is highly advanced and perfect for us. This is why we chose Narvik. The building is completely finished and ready to be put to use, and this is obviously an advantage for the project.”
“We also note that Narvik has a positive attitude towards industry and business development, and we hope and believe this initiative will create significant ripple effects in the city and region related to hydrogen, an energy carrier recognised to have great potential. While the neighbouring city of Harstad has been the oil capital of northern Norway, our goal is that Narvik becomes Norway’s hydrogen capital.”
The plan calls for a gradual increase of the plant’s capacity. Work on the site is planned to start in 2021, and first production is expected in 2022. The facility will see total investments of up to Nkr1Bn (US$120M) over a 10-year period.
During this period, TECO 2030 speculated that up to 500 jobs may be created in Narvik within development, pilot production and full-scale industrial production. The company added that it expects to have 100 employees at the factory by the end of 2025. The technology will be developed in collaboration with Austrian technology company AVL, which will also contribute to the planning and construction of the proposed facility.
TECO 2030 is evaluating various financing alternatives for the new factory and revealed they are in talks with the Norwegian Government enterprise Enova and other institutions to evaluate financing options.
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