Norwegian energy company Norsk Hydro said Vianode, a company owned by Elkem, Hydro and Altor, decided to invest in its first industrial scale plant for sustainable battery materials at Herøya in Norway.
Investment is around NOK 2 billion ($ 190 million), a statement said.
The plant will produce anode graphite for about 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) per year by 2024. The investment is the first phase in a larger investment plan. There are preparations for a second phase plant which will provide battery materials for two million EVs per year by 2030.
The statement said graphite materials from Vianode are produced with up to 90% lower CO2 emissions than today’s standard materials. Their performance characteristics improve the properties in batteries. This includes faster charging, increased range and longer service life, as well as increased safety and recyclability.
Stian Madshus, general manager of Vianode, said Europe is facing a significant shortfall of graphite materials towards 2030, which Vianode aims to address with its offerings.
Its products are developed in high temperature processes, closed production systems, lower energy consumption and access to renewable energy.
Vianode has operated an industrial pilot in Kristiansand, Norway, since April 2021.
It will be recruiting approximately 100 new workers, bringing the total workforce to around 160 by the end of 2023. The second phase plant could double this by the end of 2026.
Photo: Vianode’s first industrial scale plant for sustainable battery materials