Siemens opens digital factory to build batteries for ferries, fishing boats, drilling rigs
German company Siemens has opened a fully automated battery factory in Trondheim, in Norway. The facility will produce batteries for the marine sector, including for ships, rigs, and other offshore operations.
From unpacking the production parts to testing the final module, the factory is completely automated; all production line processes are digitised. At full tilt, the site will produce 55 battery modules per day, from eight fully robotic work stations, said Siemens.
One battery consists of nine battery modules; each module consists of 28 battery cells. Siemens called the new facility “one of the world’s most advanced and robotic”.
Bjørn Einar Brath, head of offshore solutions at Siemens, commented: “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.”
Norwegian companies have so far led the way in the electrification of shipping, Siemens noted. Interest in is also growing on the international market. The new Siemens factory will serve an international market, said Brath.
The marine battery market has been largely driven by electric ferries, but fishing boats, workboats and offshore plants are also transferring to battery power.
The Trondheim factory received its first order to assemble batteries for use on the West Mira drilling platform, belonging to international drilling company Northern Drilling. It will be the first drilling rig in the world to be operated with a modern battery solution, said Siemens.
The newly-built West Mira rig is designed to operate in all weather conditions, with drilling six wells on Northern Drilling’s Nova field in the North Sea.
With a new battery solution, West Mira will reduce annual fuel consumption by 12 per cent, annual carbon dioxide emissions by 15 per cent, and annual nitrogen oxide emissions by 12 per cent.
Anne Marit Panengstuen, chief executive at Siemens, said: “In Trondheim, we have established a competence centre for electrical and hybrid solutions with years of experience. This has impressed global management so much we are now responsible for the development of new battery systems.”