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Elkem, Hydro and Altor (Altor Fund V) announced a partnership with the intention to accelerate the growth of Vianode, a producer of sustainable battery materials. An investment decision for a potential first-phase plant at Herøya, Norway, is expected in the first half of 2022.
Vianode has developed a range of synthetic graphite products for batteries with unique performance characteristics and produced with significantly lower CO2 emissions than today’s standard materials – supporting the ambitions of leading battery cell and automotive manufacturers.
Today, an electric vehicle (EV) contains on average 40-70 kg of graphite, 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.
Founded in 2021, Vianode currently has around 50 employees. The company builds on Elkem’s experience in advanced material solutions, its in-house research and development resources, as well as the strong performance of Vianode’s industrial pilot plant in Kristiansand, Norway. After this transaction, Hydro and Altor will each have 30% ownership in Vianode, while Elkem will retain the remaining 40% ownership.
“I would like to congratulate the parties on a very exciting industrial collaboration! The Norwegian Government has great ambitions for a green industrial boost where batteries are one of six focus areas. The purpose is to create new, green jobs, increase mainland investment, increase exports outside oil and gas and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These are the kind of projects and partnerships we want more of when we now will go through the biggest restructuring of the Norwegian economy ever,” says Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Jan Christian Vestre.
An investment decision for a potential first-phase plant for Vianode is expected during the first half of 2022. This plant will have approximately 100 employees and produce graphite for more than 20,000 EVs per year.
The transaction is subject to formal approval by all parties and regulatory approvals, including competition authorities.