Norwegian engineering companies Elkem, Hydro and Altor have formed a partnership to invest in Vianode, a producer of sustainable battery materials.

After this transaction, Hydro and Altor will each have 30% ownership in Vianode, while Elkem will keep its remaining 40% ownership.

Vianode, an Elkem offshoot, was founded in 2021 and currently has around 50 employees. It makes graphite products for batteries using lower CO2 emissions than other standard materials, according to the investors.

Plans are for the companies to finance a first-phase plant located in the Herøya peninsula in Norway. This plant will have approximately 100 employees and produce graphite for more than 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) per year. A potential full-scale plant will produce graphite for more than 1 million EVs per year and is expected to increase the number of employees in Vianode to around 300. The total investments in the first-phase plant and preparations for a potential full-scale plant are estimated at around NOK 2 billion.

“Vianode aims to become a leading producer of sustainable battery materials, and this represents an attractive growth opportunity for Elkem,” said Elkem CEO, Helge Aasen. “Hydro and Altor both add significant experience and expertise in developing large-scale industrial projects in the battery value chain.”