Viktoria Winberg

This is how the region is affected by new, electricity-intensive businesses

Jämtland County is currently experiencing great interest from electricity-intensive business start-ups. Several locations in northern Sweden have already been established, resulting in the creation of new jobs. The Power Region works to ensure that this also happens in our region.
– Several new surveys show that the establishments provide both long-term jobs and increased attractiveness for the region, says Viktoria Winberg, project manager for The Power region.

Both Västernorrland and Norrbotten regions have recently produced studies that examine the effect of new industries such as Facebook’s server halls and Northvolt’s battery factories. Norrbotten already has heavy industries, while Västernorrland is investigating possible effects of electricity-intensive industry. And both reports state roughly the same thing – like traditional industry, the new tech operations also have positive effects on both the labour market and job attractiveness.

The regions get new jobs, which creates population inflow as in turn increases tax revenues. This in turn increases the conditions for improving infrastructure, schools, care and nursing.

– Based on the studies recently conducted in Sweden, we can also conclude that the power of innovation in the county can be strengthened, among other things by an establishment attracting new skills to the region. This is positive not least for research and development within the university cluster in central Norrland (Mid Sweden University), says Viktoria Winberg.

However, jobs are the primary effect of a new establishment – partly labor is required to build the facility, but also to run it. As new companies regularly stay in the region, and thus need services such as food and accommodation, side effects and indirect jobs are also created.

– An example is a survey from Sweco, commissioned by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, where the effects of Facebook’s establishment in Luleå are investigated. Here it is stated that the total effect of Facebook’s establishment in Luleå, alone during the construction phase, is estimated to be close to 4,700 annual jobs, says Viktoria Winberg.

The plant’s operations currently employ both directly and indirectly close to 400 full-time employees, of which just under 250 live in the region.

– The assessment is thus that Facebook’s establishment has had significant positive economic effects both regionally and nationally. We also know that the Luleå city brand has had positive effects – as has Luleå University of Technology, says Viktoria Winberg.

As we have a large electricity surplus in our electricity area, Jämtland County is strongly equipped to meet the increasing electrification that is taking place in society, even when it comes to new industrial establishments of various kinds. At present, there is no indication that renewable electricity will not be sufficient for the consumption that takes place in our electricity area.

– The Power Region can offer an outlet of 500 MW for new establishments, and discussions are ongoing with a number of active stakeholders. As in all business negotiations of this kind, however, it takes time before the plans can be made concrete and published.

– When an interested party looks for suitable sites, ie locations to build on, they often look at several different places in parallel. For the stakeholder, it is important to avoid spreading rumors and speculation until a deal is completed. It will be a balance between the principle of openness, Swedish transparency and customary business secrecy.

– We are currently working hard to ensure the first major establishment, says Viktoria Winberg.