Exception to budget freeze
Habeck gave away half a billion euros for a battery factory
December 3rd, 2023, 4:41 p.m
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In the budget crisis, every issue has to go through Finance Minister Lindner’s desk – including the funding decision for a Northvolt battery factory in the Dithmarschen district. Economics Minister Habeck can report this weekend: The half a billion euros that the federal government has promised can flow.
Despite budget problems, the federal government has released a good half a billion euros for the Northvolt battery factory to be located in Heide in the Dithmarschen district. The ministry announced that a corresponding funding notice has now been sent to the company. “Securing funding for Northvolt is an important step in triggering a large private investment that brings added value and jobs in an industry of the future,” said Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck. “And it’s good that we were able to get an exemption from the budget freeze.”
According to the ministry, the project in Schleswig-Holstein will receive funding totaling around 700 million euros. Of this, around 564 million euros are attributable to the federal government and around 136 million euros to the state. The funding is spread over several annual tranches.
According to the information, given the urgency of the final location decision, the Federal Ministry of Economics requested the Federal Ministry of Finance to release the funds despite the current budget block. The Ministry of Economic Affairs also announced that this had been approved.
Habeck still has to convince the EU Commission
However, the funding decision is still subject to state aid approval from the European Commission. “We are in constructive dialogue with the Commission on this,” said the ministry. In order to implement the project, the two local communities will also need to adopt statutes as part of the land-use plan process, which will probably only be possible once the state aid requirements have been met.
The Swedish company Northvolt wants to produce battery cells for electric cars in a factory in Heide from 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 in Heide, according to those close to the project.