Volvo doubles its investment in USA

Volvo Cars is doubling its investment in its plant in the USA. According to reports in South Carolina, Volvo is increasing its investment from USD 500 million to USD 1 billion. It will also more than double its workforce, from 2,000 to 4,500.

According to the original plans, the plant is to manufacture the S60. The capacity is said to be 100,000 although to begin with 60,000 cars will be built per year, of which 60% will be exported worldwide, except China.

Green investment

At a meeting hosted by pension manager Alecta in Stockholm on Wednesday executives in the financial sector discussed the EU’s forthcoming sustainable finance agenda with Minister Per Bolund and FSA director general Erik Thedéen.

Alecta’s CEO, Magnus Billing, who is the only Swedish member of the European Commission’s high-level finance group, gave a summary of the group’s work. A final report is to be presented at the beginning of 2018. He also announced that Alecta will be investing SEK 800 million in NN-FMO Emerging Markets Loan Fund, which is managed by Dutch development bank FMO, and which invests in job creation, mainly in finance, energy and agribusiness.

Record investment in battery plant

Peter Carlsson, who managed Tesla’s supply chain before returning to Sweden, officially launched the Northvolt project on Tuesday to raise SKr 40 billion to build Europe’s biggest battery plant in Sweden. The target is cell production equivalent to 32 gigawatt hours.

In an initial phase state-owned Vattenfall, Stena, the EU, the Swedish Energy Agency and Vinnova are investing a minimum of SKr 120 million in the project.

Carlsson expects a surge in demand for batteries as automakers switch to electric vehicles. “If 10% of the European car fleet is electric by 2025, Europe will need at least three similar large-scale factories just for this,” he says.

Northvolt has yet to identify a site for the project, but the plant could eventually employ up to 3,000.

State risk capital change

Writing in DI debate on Saturday, Innovation Minister Mikael Damberg (S), writes that the government is presenting its proposition for a new structure for state risk capital and state company financing. The government suggests launching a national development company, Fondinvest AB, which will be the hub for future state risk capital.

  The government will also take the initiative in establishing a demonstration fund for developing renewable fuels, bio-based materials, networked products or to test new technology. Sweden’s future export successes need to be tested under real conditions before they can be launched on the market.

  The proposition is intended to strengthen the ability for Swedish companies to create, grow and export with a base in Sweden.

E.ON focuses on network investment

In the past four years the Swedish division of E.ON has invested approximately SKr 1 billion annually in its transmission network. But, with Sweden facing the closure of four nuclear reactors ahead of time, the shift towards more renewable energy is leading the electricity distributor to invest SKr 12.5 billion by 2020 in an upgrade of its network.