The two energy companies are now starting to cooperate in a joint company with the aim of attracting power-intensive companies such as data centres and battery manufacturers to northern Sweden. The region has renewable electricity generation, a stable power grid and strong local communities, factors that are sought after by many companies throughout the world.
Joint company focuses on new industries
Specifically, the cooperation means that the two electricity companies will acquire the Node Pole development company currently owned by the municipalities (Luleå, Piteå, Boden) and the County Council in Norrbotten. With the joint company as a starting point, they plan to boost the visibility of Sweden, and particularly northern Sweden, in the world as regards their suitability for power-intensive companies.
The financial preconditions for companies willing to establish themselves in Sweden are also good. The government has proposed that the energy tax for data centres with an installed output of at least 0.5 MW be reduced from 1 January 2017 to the same level as that applying to other power-intensive industries. The proposal is now with the Swedish Parliament.
“The tax relief in the government’s budget proposal is warmly welcomed, and it gives Sweden even better preconditions to attract these companies. In conjunction with the municipalities, local authorities and other players in northern Sweden, we are now moving on to marketing the region’s ideal preconditions for these new industries,” says Magnus Hall, CEO of Vattenfall.
Node Pole, Business Sweden and Vattenfall have previously organised a cooperative effort aiming primarily to attract data centre facilities to the county.
Now, Vattenfall and the municipality-owned Skellefteå Kraft will jointly acquire the company and broaden its scope of operations to include industries such as battery and carbon fibre manufacturers.
To launch these ambitious plans quickly, both companies will contribute funds to the joint company. They will together invest approximately SEK 50 million over a three-year period.
Vattenfall’s business development department has been working for a long time with attracting data centres to Sweden and have in the process received more and more pointers that Sweden holds a unique position in the world when it comes to power intensive industries.
“The signals were so strong that we started to think about whether or not the work we had done with data centres could be applied to other industries and if we, besides marketing Sweden, could do something to ensure the establishment process was as simple as possible. The fact that we succeeded in shaping this initiative, while also bringing Skellefteå Kraft on board, is very pleasing, both for Vattenfall and Sweden,” says Mattias Tingvall, Head of Business Development at Vattenfall.