Vianode Technology Center (VTC) will develop and supply advanced anode materials that make batteries more environmentally friendly.
Vianode, owned by Elkem, Hydro and Altor, produces advanced battery materials with a greener footprint. The opening of the VTC in Kristiansand sees Vianode expand its research and development efforts, including a new office, laboratory and the recruitment of more battery material scientists. This is an important step towards creating a complete battery value chain in Norway for the European market.
State-of-the-art analytical instruments, advanced electrochemical testing equipment and an application laboratory focused on the use of Vianode materials in battery production have been installed. Today, VTK employs 16 employees of nine nationalities. It is planned to increase the number of MDG employees to 20 by the end of the year, and to 25 by the end of 2025.
“Our materials are produced with up to 90 percent lower emissions than today’s standard graphite anode materials, with unique characteristics that provide faster charging, increased range and better recyclability. However, it is important to continue to focus on continuous improvement and materials for the next generation of batteries. The VTC is set up next to the Vianode industrial pilot, just a few minutes’ drive from our planned first phase plant in Herøya. This ensures that industrialization and research and development go hand in hand,” says Stian Madshus, General Manager and Vice President of Vianode.
“Our previous R&D facility was funded by national catapult organization Future Materials and was a great starting point for Vianode when we started, but now that we’re a bigger company, a dedicated facility is needed. The opening of the VTC will be a major boost for the organization and our work,” says Bridget Devaney, director of research and development at Vianode.
Vianode recently announced an investment of NOK 2 billion in a battery materials plant in Herøya, Norway, targeting the production of anode graphite for around 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) per year by 2024.
This investment is the first phase of a wider investment plan. Construction of the plant will run parallel to preparations for the second phase of the plant, which will supply battery materials for 2 million electric vehicles per year by 2030, covering a significant share of the global electric vehicle market.
Today, an electric car contains on average up to 70 kg of graphite materials, which are a vital component of the battery. Vianode products are developed on the basis of specialized know-how in the field of high-temperature processes, closed production systems, lower energy consumption and access to renewable energy sources.
VTC was funded by Vianode. Vianode receives research and development funding at the site from the Norwegian Research Council (NRC) and Innovation Norway, as well as research funding from the EU, including the Horizon Europe programme.