Corvus to build new battery plant in Norway

Norway leads the world in powering ferries and other short and medium-range vessels with rechargeable batteries, many of which are made by Corvus Energy.

Corvus Energy has finalized plans for a new battery manufacturing plant in Norway.

As part of the $12 million expansion plan, Corvus also plans to semi-automate its manufacturing plant in Richmond, where the company is headquartered.

Corvus is a leader in large, rechargeable batteries for the marine sector, which is increasingly going to electric power for shorter range vessels.

Corvus plans to build a new, fully automated manufacturing plant in Bergen, Norway. It is raising the money through $12 million in loans and equity financing, including government funding from Innovation Norway.

Contracts for the new plant’s location and equipment were finalized this week. The new Norway plant is expected to be in operation by the third quarter of 2019. Corvus then plans to upgrade its plant in Richmond.

“It’s pretty manual,” Sean Puchalski, executive vice president of strategy and business planning for Corvus, told Business in Vancouver. “It’s a little bit outdated. So the plan is to make a state-of-the-art plant in Norway, and then once that’s commissioned, roll back key technologies for the Canadian plant. It’ll basically double the production capacity of the Canadian plant.”

Norway is Corvus’ largest customer. Many of Norway’s ferries and other short and medium-range vessels are powered by rechargeable batteries.

“The Canadian plant will focus on the North American and Asian markets,” Puchalski said. “For us that’s about one-third of our business, whereas Europe is two-thirds.”

Corvus currently employs about 150 people, about 75% of whom are employed in Canada.

“The number in Canada won’t change much,” Puchalski said.