Plans to build Europe’s first lithium-ion battery anode production plant are underway following a memorandum of understanding and a new joint venture (JV).
The JV aims to supply European battery manufacturers with 50,000 tonnes of anode material per year— with the initial phase making 10,000 tonnes per annum and phase 2 adding 40,000 TPA.
The partnership is between Grafintec Oy— a wholly owned subsidiary of London headquartered Beowulf— and Indian company Epsilon Advanced Materials— a subsidiary of coal tar derivative firm Epsilon Carbon.
The new venture— 49% owned by Beowulf, with Epsilon owning the remaining share— will develop and build the anode materials plant in Vaasa, Finland.
An MoU between the firms and the City of Vaasa has reserved a plot of land for six months on which they hope to establish the production facility.
As Europe’s battery industry develops, the need for a domestic anode materials supply grows because of the over reliance on battery materials from Asia.
Establishing a European anode supply
The JV’s reserved site, number 18, in the GigaVaasa area is located near the site reserved for Freyer Battery‘s proposed battery cell development.
Epsilon Advanced Materials was established in 2018 to develop and manufacture carbon products for anode components of lithium-ion Batteries.
Its research and development is investigating the production of synthetic graphite, synthetic graphite anode, hard carbon and other materials.
The company has a commercial capacity of 2,500 TPA for anode precursor material and a pilot facility for coke powder and graphite anodes.
It will expand the natural graphite flake processing capacity to 25,000 TPA by 2027.
Kurt Budge, chief executive officer of Beowulf, said: “Following my September visit to India and discussions with Epsilon, it was clear that an anode materials production facility was the missing piece in the jigsaw at GigaVaasa (Vaasa’s energy technology hub).”
The GigaVaasa industrial area is dedicated to battery value chain manufacturing and offers accessible green energy system options. This industrial zone has good rail and road connections and a short distance to the harbour— enabling sustainable transport solutions— and an airport.
More than 160 energy technology companies are located in the Vaasa region.