Vianode opens industrial pilot for battery materials

Source: press release, 16 November 2021

Norway’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Jan Christian Vestre, tours Vianode’s industrial pilot for battery materials
Norway’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Jan Christian Vestre, tours Vianode’s industrial pilot for battery materials (photo: Elkem)

Vianode, established as a fully owned subsidiary of Elkem ASA dedicated to strategic growth opportunities for advanced battery materials, successfully operationalised its industrial pilot in Kristiansand, Norway in April. Monday 15 November the pilot was visited by the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Jan Christian Vestre.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Jan Christian Vestre, visited Kristiansand, Norway Monday 15 November and attended a tour of Vianode’s industrial pilot for battery materials.

The industrial pilot started production in April with a production capacity of up to 200 metric tons of battery grade synthetic graphite.

“The Norwegian government wants to help create profitable and attractive jobs throughout the country, increase green investments, strengthen exports from the Norwegian mainland and cut greenhouse gas emissions based on active industry policies and strong partnerships with industry and businesses. One of our goals is to increase exports from mainland Norway by 50% and cut emissions by 55% within this decade. The Norwegian government wants to contribute towards a complete battery value chain, and a sustainable production of battery materials has the potential to become one important initiative in achieving this goal,” says Jan Christian Vestre, Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry.

Vianode intends to reduce the CO2 footprint from production of synthetic graphite by 94% compared to conventional production. The company is currently in advanced dialogues with battery value chain participants and have signed three MoUs with customers.

“It is promising to see that the Norwegian government sets clear goals for growth in sustainable and profitable mainland industry and it is also very positive that batteries and battery materials are well anchored in the government’s declaration,” says Chris York, VP in Vianode.

“The battery value chain has a great potential for Norwegian value creation. Battery materials are an important part of this and is also one of the areas where we can expect large scale sales and growth fastest,” says Stian Madshus, general manager and VP in Vianode.

In addition to the industrial pilot in Kristiansand, Vianode is planning a fast-track and a large-scale plant at Herøya Industrial Park to be financed in two stages. The investment decision for the first stage is expected in 2021.

In addition to synthetic graphite materials, Vianode and Elkem continue to carry out advanced research on silicon-graphite composite materials for improved battery performance for the years to come. Vianode is participating in the Hydra and 3beLiEVe research projects on next generation lithium-ion batteries, coordinated by SINTEF and the Austrian Institute of Technology, respectively. Both projects have received funding from the EU Horizon programme. Vianode is also investing in R&D on recycling of battery-grade graphite which is supported by the Research Council of Norway.

Vianode has previously received grants from Innovation Norway related to the pilot plant and from Enova for planning the battery materials industrial plant.