This time last week, TECO 2030 unveiled further plans for Norway’s first-ever gigafactory. Today, H2 View sits down with the company’s CEO Tore Enger to find out more about the major development that is set to transform the hydrogen-powered marine industry.
Confirming Narvik as the gigafactory’s new home, TECO 2030 said it hopes to transform the municipality into Norway’s hydrogen capital. To make this goal a reality, the company is promising a lot of jobs, with 500 set to be created during pilot production and full-scale industrial production.
TECO 2030 expects to invest a total of approximately NOK 1bn into the facility over a ten-year period. During this development phase, the site will be able to reach its full potential, producing fuel cells with a capacity of more than one gigawatt per year.
To find out more about the landmark project, H2 View spoke to the man behind it all Tore Enger, CEO of TECO 2030 to find out his thoughts on the company’s new location.
H2 View (H2V): Congratulations on the new facility! Can you tell us a little more about the development and how the idea for Norway’s first gigafactory first came about?
Tore Enger (TE): The International Maritime Organisation has a goal of reducing the carbon footprint of the shipping industry by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008 levels. This means that there is a need for new innovative solutions and technologies. The transition from conventional to more sustainable fuels is an important driver for new solutions.
Together with our strategic partner AVL, we saw there was an opportunity together to develop and produce fuel cells for the maritime industry. TECO Group has extensive knowledge in the marine business and has been working closely with major shipowners and cruise-liners for over 25 years. Meanwhile, AVL has been working with fuel cell development and heavy-duty powertrain systems for nearly 20 years, and for that reason, we believe that together, we are the perfect match.
The new gigafactory and innovation centre will be a hub for knowledge sharing with partners across the value chain and will function as a bridge between those engaged in research and development, and those working with actual production.
Hydrogen-based fuel cells is a new technology that is still under continuous development, and in order to maximise the potential in fuel cells and hydrogen, TECO 2030 will provide opportunities for research organisations to conduct research. We will also train our clients in using our fuel cells, which will enable their vessels to emissions free.
H2V: What is the main purpose of the facility and how will it serve TECO 2030’s customers?
TE: The purpose of this facility is to be a knowledge bridge between production and research and development. Further to that, the facility will produce hydrogen-based fuel cells for heavy duty applications, which will enable zero emission propulsion for ships and other applications.
At the same time, we want to create a competence centre for parties involved in hydrogen research, and education and training for operators of the fuel cells. TECO 2030 believes that the parties in the hydrogen industry should stand shoulder by shoulder and learn from each other. This is exactly what we are trying to establish in Narvik, and which will make Narvik the hydrogen capital of Norway.
H2V: Once fully operational, what will the output of the facility be? What does this additional capacity mean for TECO 2030?
TE: This facility will be fully operational by 2030, and by this date, the output would be approx. 1.2 GW.
The capacity of the facility will escalate in line with market demand, and we at TECO 2030 are confident that by 2030, the market will be ready for our 1.2GW fuel cells.