Together with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Siemens opened one of the world's most advanced and robotic battery module factories in Trondheim, Norway. In the future, 55 battery modules per shift will be assembled every day for the marine and offshore market. "We expect this market to grow significantly in the future. That is why we have invested in the development of safe and reliable battery solutions," says Bjørn Einar Brath, Head of Offshore Solutions at Siemens. The factory comprises a robotized and digitized production line with eight robotic stations with a capacity of up to 300 megawatt hours (MWh) per year. From unpacking the incoming production parts to testing the finished battery module, the whole factory is completely automated. One battery consists of nine battery modules, each module consists of 28 battery cells.
So far, Norwegian companies have led the way in the electrification of shipping. Due to the global decision to invest in maritime battery systems, interest in Siemens battery solutions is also growing on the international market. "We also see interest in such solutions outside Norway. The new battery factory will therefore also serve an international market," says Brath. Due to Norway's pioneering role in electrification and Siemens Trondheim's technology and production environment for electrical solutions in ships and offshore applications, Trondheim was chosen to be the location.
"In Trondheim, we have established a competence center for electrical and hybrid solutions with years of experience. This has impressed global management so much that we are now responsible for the development of new battery systems," says Anne Marit Panengstuen, CEO of Siemens AS. Siemens was also encouraged by its closeness to ambitious customers in the Norwegian maritime industry and by the policy offensive for low-emission solutions.
Great electrification potential
Until now, the market has been largely driven by electric ferries, but fishing boats, workboats for aquaculture and offshore plants also offer great potential for the future. The factory recently received its first order to assemble batteries for use on a drilling rig. West Mira, a drilling platform of the international drilling company Northern Drilling, will thus be the first drilling rig in the world to be operated with a modern battery solution. For such a drilling rig, it is estimated that a battery solution can reduce annual fuel consumption by twelve percent, annual carbon dioxide emissions by fifteen percent and annual nitrogen oxide emissions by twelve percent.