28 / 09 / 2022

Cooperation is needed when trying to attract skilled workforce

There is a lot happening right now regarding the battery industry in the Kvarken-Nordland region. New investments in battery production create a need of more inhabitants and marketing the region and regional branding is crucial when trying to attract the needed workforce.

Nordic Battery Belt Logistics project arranged its final conference together with the electric aviation project FAIR in Skellefteå on September 20th–21st. During the first conference day, a panel discussion with the theme Stronger together was arranged. 

Moderator Nora Birkman Neunstedt from Kokkola Regional Development Company KOSEK asked each participant to describe what’s happening in their cities regarding the battery industry. Anja Palm, Head of Trade and Business Development at Skellefteå Municipality, described that Northvolt already has its first two factory lines up and running in Skellefteå. Northvolt is affecting the whole city of Skellefteå.  

– This green transformation is unique. We have taken a big leap of development in only a few years’ time, Palm said. 

Allan Berg, Project Manager at Rana Utvikling, explained that the construction of Freyr’s first two giga factories in Mo i Rana is ongoing. Freyr has also chosen Vaasa as the location for its battery cell factory. An environmental analysis is ongoing at the GigaVaasa area where the factory is planned to be built.  

– We hope that we’ll get an investment decision for GigaVaasa already during this year. We have several reservations for the GigaVaasa area but not all of them are public yet, Riitta Björkenheim, Development Director at Vaasa Region Development Company VASEK, said.  

Keliber has decided to invest in a lithium chemical plant in Kokkola and the company has now got their building permit.  

– Kokkola is focusing to be number one in making battery chemicals in Finland, Jonne Sandberg, Development Director at City of Kokkola, said.  

Mathias Lindström, Allan Berg, Anja Palm, Jonne Sandberg, and Riitta Björkenheim.

Cooperation is needed 

The word cooperation came up several times during the panel discussion.  

– There’s a lot happening in this region, and we have cooperation here for real. But the planning between the countries on a national level has to improve and it is easier to market a region together compared to only one single city or one single regional council. We have more to offer in a bigger geography, Mathias Lindström, the Kvarken Council’s Director said.

A big, joint labour market is needed in the Kvarken-Nordland region. Marketing and regional branding can be one way that can be used in order to attract people and needed work force to move here.

– We need more people in this region and we can bring more people here if we succeed in making the region attractive. We need to cooperate even more according to this matter, Berg said.  

– We must make people understand that we live in the best region in the world, Lindström said. 

The Nordic Battery Belt Logistics project has produced a report in which the region’s transport system has been analysed. Read the report HERE 


About Nordic Battery Belt Logistics

Nordic Battery Belt Logistics is a project focusing on enabling sustainable and cost-effective cross-border logistic solutions based on the value chains and needs of the growing battery industry in the Nordic Battery Belt area. The project is a collaboration between the Kvarken Council EGTC, VASEK, KOSEK, Skellefteå Municipality and Rana Utvikling. It is co-financed by Interreg Botnia-Atlantica, Region Västerbotten and the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia.