Vianode to invest US$190 million in industrial-scale, sustainable battery materials plant


Vianode, a company owned by Elkem, will invest in its first industrial-scale plant for sustainable battery materials at Herøya in Norway (above). The approximately US$190 million investment will create new industrial jobs and provide critical battery materials. The decision is an important step toward establishing a complete battery value chain in Norway for the European market.

The industrial plant at Herøya, Norway, will produce 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.

The graphite materials from Vianode are produced with up to 90% lower CO2 emissions than today’s standard materials. The materials have unique performance characteristics and improve the properties in batteries, including faster charging, increased range and longer service life, as well as increased safety and recyclability.

“The global demand for batteries is growing rapidly, driven by the green transition, but there is not sufficient ramp-up of battery materials production. Europe is facing a significant shortfall of graphite materials toward 2030, which Vianode aims to address with our high-performance offerings. Automakers and authorities are also increasingly focused on a sustainable value chain, where Vianode has a unique offering with our low CO2 footprint,” says Stian Madshus, gm-Vianode.

Today, an EV contains on average 70 kg of graphite materials, representing a vital component of the battery. Vianode’s products are developed based on specialized know how in high-temperature processes, closed production systems, lower energy consumption and access to renewable energy. This makes Vianode an important contributor to the European supply of critical materials needed for the energy transition.

Vianode has operated an industrial pilot in Kristiansand, Norway, since April 2021 and has ambitions to establish industrial leadership in advanced battery materials in Europe and for the global market.

Founded in 2021, Vianode has around 60 employees. Today’s investment decision means that the company will be recruiting approximately 100 new hires, bringing the total to around 160 by the end of 2023. With a potential investment decision for a second-phase plant, this can double to 300 employees by the end of 2026. Including ripple effects, this means around 1,000 jobs in total.