Wanted 100,000 Pioneers for Green Works Clonic in the Arctic

OhOne by one, the 20 engineers and technicians set out to receive their equipment before the final. They came to northern Sweden from far away from Mexico, the United States, Saudi Arabia, China, Germany, and Russia.

“you’re welcome!” bellows Håkan Pålsson, their teacher. “We’re here to show you how curling works, and then you go out on the ice.”

This is the fourth curling session for newcomers organized by the Northvolt staff, and the car battery gigabyte is growing rapidly on the shores of Skellefteå, an old gold mine 200 km south of the Arctic Circle.

The company, the city and the surrounding area of ​​Vasterbooton County are doing everything they can to make it comfortable. This summer, German engineers were planning a trip to the north to prepare for grazing and wild cooking. Local residents instructed to be friendly: “You are about to see new faces in Skellefteå as never before,” wrote an encouraging post on the city’s website. “Their experience of Skellefteå largely depends on the quality of our acceptance.”

Most impressive is the 20-story Sarah Cultural Center, which opened last month. One of the tallest wooden buildings in the world, it has two theaters, a gallery, a library and a luxury hotel.

The reason for all this effort is simple.

If Northvolt succeeds in its plan to build Europe’s largest battery factory, it and its host city will have to convince thousands of people to move to the shores of the Arctic Circle, the ice rink from November to April and its permanent territory. The winter sun shines in no more than four hours a day.

Gigabit is a series of mega-projects of green industries growing in the far north of Sweden with funding, renewable energy, large tracts of undeveloped land and funding from the European Green Agreement. Residents of the development compare it to the gold rush of Dubai or the Cloudic.

H2 Green Steel, the world’s first industrial-grade fossil steel plant, to be operational next year, 160 km north of Boden. Meanwhile, Spain’s Fertilizer plans to spend ቢሊዮን 1 billion on a large-scale electrolysis plant for green ammonia. At an additional 200 km north of the Arctic mining town of Gallivar, mining company LKAB will begin hydrogen technology next year with a £ 35bn, 20-year project on fossil-free steel. By Lule.

Reversal Persecution

These projects are in short supply of money, renewable energy, space or licenses.

“The weakest link in the chain is manpower,” said the local governor of Norboton County and the recently arrived Lotto Festorp from Stockholm. “If we can’t get people to go here, we can’t be successful in all these investments that are important to the world.”

The Swedish government estimates that the new projects and their suppliers will create at least 20,000 jobs, that 20,000 more government workers will be needed, and that 10,000 will work in shops, cafes and the like.

Lotta Finstorp, Governor of Norboton County.
Lotta Finstorp, Governor of Norboton County. Photo: Julian Lass / The Guardian

Peter Larson, who has been appointed by the Swedish national government to coordinate the transition, said that Sweden’s two northern regions could produce 100,000 people in 15 years and grow their population by a fifth. It was a wonderful dream because the unemployed were soon being paid to move south to work. Larson thinks the key to reversing persecution is convincing people that “this is the best place to live.”

Liliana Seledon, a 28-year-old Mexican engineer, sells easily. Skellefteå is a strange sight for a visitor to a car-based city on the US border. “I was walking, swimming in the ocean, and suddenly I was with nature,” she says.

Outside the Skellefteå Arena, the first-of-its-kind, yearly sluchy ice skating rink has just begun, and a downhill and cross-country skiing is awaiting downtown. For Benjamin Linden, from southern Sweden, curving is fun, but culture is a must. Unusually for a man under construction, he began his career as a theater director and the day before his departure he was watching some refinements at the Sarah Cultural Center.

“This is the most important thing in my life. [theatre] Is available. ” “Before I came here, I called the theater because I wanted to know what they had. Now I think it will be much better with a cultural center.

Benjamin Linden and Lilian and Seledon are getting acquainted with curling in Skellefteå.
Benjamin Linden and Lilian and Seledon are getting acquainted with curling in Skellefteå. Photo: Julian Lass / The Guardian

Finsorp doubts that southern Swedes, such as Linden, will find it difficult to appeal.

Alistair Coley, a 25-year-old cell engineer from Sunderland in the United Kingdom, finds it incredibly easy to make friends here. “Everyone who casts their eyes upon it, wants a go.” He arrived in February with his fiancé Claudia and Primrose and Albert, two cocoons. “They are interested in what you are doing, so I don’t think it is a Swedish misconception in the north. They want you to be here.

Before leaving the UK, they met local couples, and since then they have been invited to regular meals and walks. Coly: “We met them on the dogs’ amazing Instagram accounts.

From then on, they went in and saw the northern lights, encountered wild deer with their dogs, hung on the Baltic Sea dog beach, and a mid-summer Swedish celebration filled with traditional garlands.

Alistair Coley outside the home in the far north of Sweden.
Alistair Coley outside the home in the far north of Sweden. Photo: Julian Lass / The Guardian

Regional authorities are also trying to persuade locals to go home. Skellefteå, which serves as the gateway to Lapland, Sweden, has been hosting snow hockey and other events in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö by sending Christmas cards to all those who have moved south for the past 10 years. .

Swedish is not necessary

The next step is to target approximately 400,000 unemployed people living in volatile parts of Sweden. Minister of Employment Eva Nordmark has promised to do “all that is needed” to move people north, even by enforcing charitable laws to force them to relocate.

The Swedish Employment Service is offering the opportunity to participate in “historic” green change across offices across the country. In Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo, Relocate plans to attack long-term unemployed citizens.

Catherine and Borsett, which is responsible for finding more than 3,000 people, especially for the battery factory, is looking for immigrants with good English and technical knowledge. “You do not have to learn Swedish before you can work in the Northwest,” she says.

As the company rushes to produce its first cells later this year, it is towing a large battery area with construction workers in hi-vis jackets and safety hats. Once completed, it can produce batteries for 1 meter cars per year. Most of the workers in the factory are currently under contract.

“They come from all over the world and are interested in such mega and gigabyte projects,” said Frederick Hedlund, who oversees the construction. “If you look at the interior of the factory, that’s really international knowledge.”

Hedlund is a southerner who sold his house in Lund last week and moved north. His 16-year-old daughter started attending a local technical high school in August.

“Northvolt is a comprehensive project. This is not something you fly and fly.”

Frederick Hedlund at the Northvolt construction site
Frederick Hedlund at the Northvolt construction site Photo: Julian Lass / The Guardian

He said the huge gray boxes on this 200-hectare site were just the beginning, showing the completed plant, showing the top of the forest about a mile and a half.

On the north side, a giant factory such as H2 Green Steel will mainly move the car industry 2,000 km south. “Most of them [of production] Hedlund is set to move to the German automotive industry.

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Making a difference

For many workers, the prospect of being a perfect leader for a sustainable future is a good reason to move on. Cole, who was directly employed by Europe’s first car battery factory in Sunderland, shook his head in surprise as he spoke of Nortvolt’s ambitions. The production will be fully powered by Green Hydroelectric Power and a battery recycling plant is planned on site.

“Other companies think they should just plug in the back to provide batteries for electric cars, but there is more to it than that,” he said. “Northwest is trying to be sustainable in terms of energy, and that is important to me. I didn’t join any battery business to make money, I just came here to make a difference.

There is a similar “pioneering spirit” in nearby Boden, with local Mayor Clyce Nordmark now working on a new steel plant.

A.D.  The Hybrid Pilot Factory in Lule, Sweden, successfully tested hydrogen technology in 2021.
A.D. The Hybrid Pilot Factory in Lule, Sweden, successfully tested hydrogen technology in 2021. Photo: Julian Lass / The Guardian

A.D. In 1998, when the Swedish army closed its Boden base, it lost 10% of its population in two years. The story is similar in Skellefteå, where a large copper mine was reduced from 3,000 to 800.

Unemployment in Sweden’s two northern regions has been reduced after unemployed people were paid to move south.

At the lowest point, Scalfetio had 1,500 vacant apartments, some of which were sold under the Swedish crown. Those single-family apartments now sell for over a million, while Skellefteå and Boden are vying for thousands of new homes.

Sarah Cultural Center in Skellefteå.
Sarah Cultural Center in Skellefteå. Photo: Julian Lass / The Guardian

Decades of failure may pave the way for today’s success. Booden and Skellefteio bought large plots of land and connected them to the main power grid, hoping to copy Facebook’s nextdoor Luleå, which opened its European data center in 2013.

In the seemingly endless stream of opportunities, the two failed to deliver on the promised databases, leaving room for a new generation of green industry mega projects.

Those difficult years explain why there is little opposition to the coming wave of labor migration. Years later, when young people, especially young women, move south, Sweden’s largest population in the north welcomes all 20- to 40-year-olds, no matter where they come from.

“Something good is happening,” said Paulson, a 66-year-old curling instructor, after seeing newcomers to Scalefete constantly shaking on the ice.

“People from many countries are now coming to the city. This is good only for us. We accept them, and it is important to show what we offer.

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