2023-05-16 17:32News

16 May 2023

NGN banner

Today's Top Nordic Green News:
  • Northvolt plans bond loan conversion and expands capital for battery manufacturing
  • Aker Carbon Capture Secures billion contract with Ørsted for carbon capture projects
  • Norway's oil fund expands ESG influence through shareholder proposals with US companies
  • Swedish government approves new offshore wind power projects despite environmental opposition
Northvolt plans bond loan conversion and expands capital for battery manufacturing

Northvolt is planning to issue a bond loan worth approximately SEK 10 billion, which can be converted into shares in the future. The company is seeking to strengthen its balance sheet as part of its expansion plans, including the construction of a new battery factory in Heide, Germany, and potential plans for a factory in the US or Canada. The bond loan is expected to attract significant interest from long-term international investors. This move suggests that an initial public offering (IPO) for Northvolt may be on the horizon, potentially in late 2024 or later. The company's current valuation is around SEK 120 billion, but it is anticipated to increase significantly with an IPO. Northvolt's largest shareholders include Volkswagen and Goldman Sachs, while it has raised over SEK 80 billion from investors so far to finance its factory construction in Sweden.


Aker Carbon Capture Secures large contract with Ørsted for carbon capture projects

Aker Carbon Capture has landed a significant contract with Ørsted for the delivery of five carbon capture plants and related equipment for Ørsted's Kalundborg Hub project. The project has a total capacity of 500,000 tons of CO2 per year and an expected value of over EUR 200 million. Aker Carbon Capture aims to secure contracts for carbon capture plants with a capacity of 10 million tons annually by 2025. 

While this new contract represents a milestone, analysts believe that achieving the 2025 target may be challenging. The collaboration with Ørsted marks the beginning of a groundbreaking CCUS project that covers the entire value chain and is expected to create substantial growth opportunities. The contract is contingent on the signing of the financing agreement between Ørsted and Danish energy authorities. Aker Carbon Capture's share price rose around 20% following the announcement.

DN, NordicNews, Mindrift 

Norway's oil fund expands ESG influence through shareholder proposals with US companies

Norway's USD 1.4 trillion oil fund plans to enhance its use of shareholder proposals to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns with US companies following successful trials. The sovereign wealth fund, which owns an average of 1.5% of every listed company globally, filed climate-related proposals at four US firms this year, with Packaging Corporation of America and Marathon Petroleum committing to climate action. The fund's head of corporate governance stated that the trial was considered a success, and they intend to expand the use of shareholder motions in the future, focusing not only on climate but also other ESG areas. The fund's influence as a shareholder continues to grow, with its proactive approach in voting at annual meetings and engaging with companies on ESG matters.


Swedish government approves new offshore wind power projects despite environmental opposition

The Swedish government has given the green light for the construction of new offshore wind turbines in the Kattegat syd and Galene wind farms, located off the coast of Halland, despite opposition from environmental organisations. The decision comes after a balancing act between conflicting goals in climate and environmental policies, with the government prioritising long-term climate interests over local environmental concerns. The wind farms, consisting of around a hundred turbines, are expected to generate approximately 6.5 TWh of electricity when fully developed, supplying power to approximately one million households. 

The projects have received approval from the County Administrative Board in Halland, although they are currently under appeal from both building companies and environmental organisations. The government, relying on the county board's assessment, believes that the wind farms will be approved by the Land and Environmental Court. The move is part of Sweden's efforts to increase electricity production and transition towards renewable energy sources.

Aftonbladet, Aftonbladet, SVT Nyheter

ICA Gruppen issues inaugural green bonds to drive sustainable initiatives

ICA Gruppen, a prominent retail company in the Nordics, has successfully completed its first green bond issuance under its Swedish MTN program, raising a total of SEK 3.5 billion. The bond issue, oversubscribed by over 1.5 times, includes SEK 1.25 billion and SEK 2.25 billion bonds with respective terms of 3 and 5 years. This marks an important milestone for ICA Gruppen, as the issuance aligns with their newly established Green Finance Framework and demonstrates their commitment to sustainability. The framework covers areas such as green buildings, renewable energy, green transport and eco-efficient products. The bonds, reviewed and ranked by CICERO Shades of Green, will be listed on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm, enabling ICA Gruppen to further advance its sustainability goals.

Press Release

Heavy duty biogas sales plunge after EU ruling

The recent ruling by the EU Tribunal invalidating Sweden's tax exemption for biogas and biodiesel has had a noticeable impact on the sales of heavy gas vehicles, transforming a once thriving market segment into a lukewarm one. With the market slowdown and the imperative to achieve climate goals, urgent action is required from the government. The uncertainty caused by the ruling has already led smaller companies to delay investments in heavy gas vehicles, and the full consequences of the decision will only be evident in next year's statistics due to the extended delivery time. To prevent further cooling of the market and facilitate the transition to sustainable transportation, Mobility Sweden wants action to ensure the preservation of tax exemptions and reinstatement of a full tax exemption for biogas and biodiesel promptly, emphasising the importance of renewable options for achieving climate targets in the transport sector.

Press Release

Vestas boosted by US tax clarification, expects surge in orders

Vestas is experiencing a surge in optimism following the issuance of preliminary tax guidance by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The guidance clarifies the eligibility criteria for renewable energy project developers to access favourable support schemes established by the Inflation Reduction Act. This development has created a positive outlook for the US wind power market, with analysts describing it as "fantastic." The guidance is expected to unlock a flood of new orders as customers were previously hesitant due to the lack of specific instructions on qualifying for subsidies. The clarification is viewed as a crucial step in boosting orders and driving growth in the wind power industry. Vestas shares are up 6% in the last week.


Axpo to develop one of Sweden's largest battery storage facilities in Filipstad

Swiss Axpo has announced plans to develop a major battery storage facility in Filipstad, Sweden, acquired from project development company SENS (Sustainable Energy Solutions Sweden). The facility, set to be one of Sweden's largest, will utilise a 25 MW lithium-ion-based battery system to provide ancillary services for grid balancing. Construction is expected to commence in early 2024. In addition to the battery storage project, Axpo will also develop a ground-mounted solar cell plant with a capacity of up to 20 MW at the same location. The collaboration between Axpo and SENS aims to contribute to the future mix of energy sources and drive the energy transition. 

DagensInfrastruktur, PressRelease

RES and SCR collaborate on large-scale battery project in Alingsås, Sweden

RES and SCR, in collaboration with Alingsås Energi, are set to develop a large-scale battery park in Alingsås Municipality, Sweden. The battery park is projected to have a capacity of 17 MW and will be connected to the local grid, contributing to a strengthened local power balance. This marks the second collaboration between RES and SCR, following their successful project in Landskrona. The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2024, further supporting the transition to sustainable energy systems.

EnergiNyheter, DagensInfrastruktur

Svea Vind Offshore submits application for offshore wind farm despite opposition

Svea Vind Offshore has submitted an application for the offshore wind farm Långgrund to the Land and Environmental Court. The wind farm, which has been adjusted to feature 167 wind turbines instead of the initial 182, could potentially contribute 13 TWh per year to the region. Despite facing opposition from local residents and the Swedish Armed Forces, the application marks an important milestone for the project, and Svea Vind Offshore looks forward to further dialogue with municipalities regarding their energy needs and the potential of wind power for local and regional development.

SVT Nyheter 

Norwegian Wastefront signs agreement with Weber & Schaer for recycling of used tires

Norwegian tire recycling company Wastefront has signed a strategic purchase and sales agreement with Weber & Schaer, one of Europe's largest distributors of rubber industry products. Under the agreement, Weber & Schaer will distribute at least 35% of the recovered carbon black (rCB) produced by Wastefront's Sunderland facility in the UK. This partnership enables Wastefront to scale its operations and create a circular economy for handling used tires. The agreement also positions the UK as a significant supplier of recycled carbon black, addressing the disruption in the European carbon black supply chain. 

Press Release 

European Energy collaborates on Baltic Sea offshore wind with Vårgrønn

European Energy and Vårgrønn have partnered with Plenitude and HitecVision to develop offshore wind projects in the Baltic Sea, specifically in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The region is estimated to have a potential of 15.4 GW for offshore wind. The collaboration will cover various aspects, including development, financing, construction and operation of the wind farms. 


What we’re reading
  • Europe’s drought-riven future is here, decades earlier than expected (Straits Times)
  • Political pushback puts brakes on Brussels’ green agenda (IScanInfo)

About Nordic Green News

The Nordic countries are some of the most dynamic and successful economies in the world. They are also leaders in sustainability, from renewable energy, biofuels, carbon capture and storage and the hydrogen economy, circular economy business models and battery development, the Nordics are pioneers in policy design, technology development and consumer uptake. Mundus Nordic Green News is covering this transition for the international community. Every day we curate the stories of most relevance to international businesspeople and policy experts from the flow of news. Mundus Nordic Green Indices summarise the meta-data from our daily coverage to enable easy tracking of trends. We supplement these with our own opinion pieces and commentary.