07.12.2020

AFK invests in battery technology

Arendals Fossekompani takes part in MNOK 125 capital investment round in battery technology company Beyonder.

“As an industrial investor focused on green technology, we find Beyonder to be a particularly interesting company with a technology that is vital for the green transition. We are keen to support the further development of battery technology which adds to the already strong position we have within material science and green energy,” says Morten Henriksen, Executive Vice President of Arendals Fossekompani and incoming Board Member of Beyonder.

Energy storage technology, such as batteries is one of the crucial solutions required to support the shift to a low-carbon economy. With an increasing demand for storage technologies to integrate higher shares of variable renewable energy technologies to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels, the global stationary storage battery market is projected to increase 122 times by 2040, with a strong market pull from commercial infrastructure and industry.

Beyonder has created the next generation sustainable high-power battery cells that are safer and more cost efficient than its peers. The technology is developed using a patented process of transforming sustainable forestry residue into super-activated carbon, making it the world’s first true sustainable battery cell technology. The efficient production of the battery cells is powered entirely by renewable sources, using less energy and less chemicals compared to conventional methods.  The batteries are safer, need less cooling, can be fully charged in two minutes and recharged up to 100 000 times. This optimized solution reduces the need for over-sizing and frequent replacement of batteries.

The company is opening a battery center with research & development, labs and production testing. The automatic pilot line will be established in 2021 and the company will open its first separate full-scale commercial production plant in a separate location in Rogaland, in 2024.

INVESTING IN CLEAN ENERGY INNOVATION
Beyonder has completed a MNOK 125 capital investment round with large investors seeing opportunities in the ground-breaking battery technology. 25% of the capital provided came from current investors, and the remaining 75% of the capital provided is from new investors such as Arendals Fossekompani, DSD Investering, Equinor Ventures and Must Invest.

The investment round will enable Beyonder to continue the development of a fully automatic pilot line, as well as planning of a full-scale factory.

“We are delighted and equally humbled by the confidence placed in our technology and our team by the investors. They are both industrially and strategically resources that can support us and participate in our further growth and development. This validates our strategy and lays the groundwork for further expansion, innovation and global reach,” says Svein Kvernstuen, founder and CEO of Beyonder.

“Equinor is committed to being a leader in the energy transition and energy storage solutions are expected to play an important role. Equinor Ventures invests in high-potential technology start-ups with disruptive potential to support Equinor’s ambitions as a broad energy company. We are excited to add Beyonder to our portfolio as we believe it has the potential to expand our footprint and knowledge across the energy storage segment,” says Gareth Burns, Vice President Equinor Ventures.

The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) recently launched its report “Green electrical value chains”.  The report points out that the demand for batteries is expected to grow from about 200 GWh today to about 5,000 GWh in 2050. Norway is positioned to compete with the other European countries, but this will require rapid establishment of large production units for battery cell production.

Following this investment round, Beyonder takes a leading position in the Norwegian battery industry.

“DSD invests in people and work with companies that explore and develop solutions for the future. DSD has historically, through our introduction of Norled’s electric ferry MF Ampere, seen how advanced battery technlogy may ignite a green zero emission transformation to a whole industry. We look forward to being part of Beyonder´s journey towards realising the world´s first truly sustainable battery cell technology, as we believe this technology has the potential of becoming a green shift solution or gamechanger world-wide,” says Kjartan Melberg, Chief Investment Director in DSD.

ABOUT BEYONDER
Beyonder, founded in 2016 by its CEO Svein Kvernstuen, develops and produces the next step cells needed in battery technology with high power, fast charging and long lifetime for industry and commercial infrastructure. Utilising super activated carbon made from residue sawdust from the Norwegian forestry industry, Beyonder is producing battery cells for tomorrow´s green infrastructure. For further information, visit www.beyonder.no

Sources: NHO, McKinsey, BloombergNEF, Sintef