- EIT InnoEnergy has made a strategic investment in NCR to speed up European ingot production capacity
- NCR said it has all necessary permits in place to start construction to expand its current production capacity from 500 MW
- EIT said this transaction is at the core of the European domestic upstream PV reshoring strategy
Norwegian Crystals (NCR) has secured a strategic investment from a European Union (EU) body EIT InnoEnergy that’s aimed at accelerating European silicon ingots production from the company’s site at Glomfjord in Northern Norway.
The Norwegian company has an operational production capacity of 500 MW of ultra-low carbon ingots, which it plans to expand 20 times to 10 GW annually. Under phase I, the target is to add 4 GW annual capacity by 2025, with the possibility to expand up to 6.5 GW under phase II. Recently it secured a supply contract with Meyer Burger (see Non-Asian Silicon Wafers For Meyer Burger Technology).
The backing of EIT InnoEnergy is expected to help NCR deliver a 5-fold increase in output compared to current capacity, stated the management. It added that all necessary permits are in place for it to start construction as early as this year ‘with offtake and supply agreements arranged’.
Regarding the strategic investment, NCR CEO Gøran Bye added, “The connections and support it can provide will ensure we bring more silicon ingot production capacity to Europe so we can fulfil our ambitions of growing at pace over the next few years to support the industry as it scales up.”
Supported by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology, EIT InnoEnergy acts as a sustainable energy investor and is the driving force behind European initiatives as European Battery Alliance (EBA), the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Centre (EGHAC) and the European Solar Initiative (ESI).
Currently, China accounts for 80% of the global market share supplying polysilicon, ingots, wafers, cells and modules to the world. Europe is looking at solar energy as a key pillar for its energy transition strategy. Under the REPowerEU plan, the EU aims to install 40 GW to 45 GW of new solar PV capacity annually till 2030, equipped with domestically produced solar PV components for which the regional target is 30 GW of the targeted demand that will be sustainable, traceable and circular (see EU Announces 600 GW AC Solar Target By 2030).
“Norway boasts a unique set of qualities to make solar manufacturing a thriving success. The area has access to hydropower to provide green electricity and glacier cooling water to ensure the plant can run as sustainably as possible,” said Member of the Executive Board of EIT InnoEnergy and CEO of its operations in Scandinavia Kenneth Johansson. “It’s these attributes, along with the expertise of the Norwegian Crystals team, that places this transaction at the core of the European domestic upstream PV reshoring strategy.”