Vianode, owned by Elkem, Hydro and Altor, is now able to produce advanced battery materials with a greener footprint. The opening of Vianode Technology Centre (VTC) in Kristiansand entails that Vianode will expand its R&D efforts, including a new office, laboratory and recruitment of more battery materials scientists. This is an important step towards establishing a complete battery value chain in Norway for the European market.
Analytical instruments, equipment for advanced electrochemistry testing and an application laboratory focused on the use of Vianode’s materials in battery manufacturing are installed. Today, the VTC has 16 employees from nine nationalities. The plan is to increase the number of VTC employees to 20 by the end of the year and then to 25 by the end of 2025.
”Our materials are produced with up to 90% lower emissions than today’s standard anode graphite materials, with unique characteristics enabling faster charging, increased range and better recyclability. Still, it is essential to keep a dedicated focus on continuous improvement and next-generation battery materials going forward. VTC is established next to Vianode’s industrial pilot, only a short drive away from our planned first phase plant at Herøya. This will ensure that industrialisation and R&D go hand in hand,” says, Stian Madshus, general manager and VP in Vianode.
“Our previous R&D facility was funded by the national catapult arrangement Future Materials and was an excellent starting point for Vianode as we got going, but now that we are a larger company a dedicated facility is needed. The opening of the VTC will be a major boost for the organisation and our work,” says Bridget Deveney, R&D Director in Vianode.
Vianode recently announced an investment of NOK2 billion in a battery materials plant at Herøya, Norway, targeting production of anode graphite for about 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) per year by 2024.
This investment is the first phase in a larger investment plan. The plant construction will be carried out in parallel with preparations for a second phase plant scaled to provide battery materials to 2 million EVs per year by 2030, covering a significant share of the global EV market.
Today, an EV contains on average up to 70 kg of graphite materials, representing a vital component of the battery. Vianode’s products are developed based on specialised know how in high-temperature processes, closed production systems, lower energy consumption and access to renewable energy.
The VTC was funded by Vianode. Vianode receives funding for R&D activities at the site from the Norwegian Research Council (NRC) and Innovation Norway, as well as EU research funding, including the Horizon Europe programme.
Vianode is built upon technological advancements and decades of industrial experience, backed by Elkem, Hydro and Altor. Following successful pilot production, the company is now scaling up towards full scale production in Norway. Vianode’s range of anode graphite products are said to offer performance characteristics and are produced with up to 90% lower CO2 emissions than today’s standard materials.