Northvolt wants to start building the battery factory near Heide soon. Prime Minister Daniel Günther speaks of a game changer for Schleswig-Holstein. The decision will change the region.
According to the state government, the construction of a large battery factory for electric cars near Heide offers great opportunities for Schleswig-Holstein and the people of the region. “In my view, this is a real game changer,” said Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU) on Tuesday. The project by the Swedish company Northvolt will permanently change the face of the country in a positive sense.
On Monday evening, after Lohe-Rickelshof, the second local community, Norderwöhrden, also approved the project. Now all that is missing is the building permit from the State Office for the Environment in cooperation with the Dithmarschen district. “This is a formality,” said District Administrator Stefan Mohrdieck of the German Press Agency. He expects up to 15,000 people to come to the region in the coming years. For comparison: the district town currently has just 22,000 inhabitants.
“A historic day for the North”
In addition to the jobs at Northvolt and subsequent settlements, the region also benefits from the expansion of the social infrastructure, said Günther. The state government will provide the necessary financial resources for everything that is the state’s responsibility. The amount of investment required cannot yet be estimated precisely. “It is clear that this important investment and its implementation will not fail because of money.” He spoke of a historic day for the North. “Now we have cooler jobs here in Schleswig-Holstein.”
Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) told NDR Info that the Heide region had aroused the Swedish company’s interest because electricity from wind power had been relied on there for a long time. “That made the difference compared to all other locations in Europe. (…) This shows that the industrial strategy and the climate protection strategy are closely linked and that this plan is working.” He sees great opportunities for the region. “Of course people will come from outside, move to Schleswig-Holstein and commute.” Daycare centers, schools, bakeries and infrastructure would follow suit. “This is an anchor investment that will strengthen large parts of the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein and make them more attractive.”
3,000 jobs are to be created
The Norderwöhrden local council made a very close decision for the project. As expected, four of the members voted in favor and three rejected the factory. One of them argued that the expansion of the infrastructure in the rural region could not be kept up and that the small town with fewer than 300 inhabitants would not benefit from it. All seven belong to the Norderwöhrden Free Voters’ Community. With regard to the decision-making power of local community representatives, Vice Chancellor Habeck said that the decision was also a strong signal for democracy.
Northvolt wants to produce battery cells for electric cars in the factory. Production is scheduled to start in 2026. The 4.5 billion euro investment is expected to create 3,000 jobs. The company has already invested around 100 million euros of its own funds in the construction project, according to people close to it. A facility for recycling old batteries from discarded electric cars is also being considered.
Around two weeks ago, the EU Commission cleared the way for funding and guarantees from the federal and state governments amounting to 902 million euros for Northvolt. They are supporting the project with around 700 million euros. There are also guarantees for a further 202 million euros. Of the funding, around 564 million euros go to the federal government and up to 137 million euros to the state.
Communication from the EU Commission