Norwegian silicon specialist Elkem has received 10 million Norwegian Kroner (about $1.1 million) in financial support from Enova, a Norwegian government enterprise that supports the development of clean energy technology. The company will use the funds for initial planning of a large-scale battery materials plant. Elkem’s Northern Recharge project aims to supply the fast-growing battery industry, while making the production process greener, with lower CO2 emissions.
Elkem has selected Herøya, one of the biggest industrial parks in Norway, as the project site. The company will make a final investment decision in 2021.
The project will produce synthetic graphite and composites, the leading anode materials in Li-ion battery cells. Elkem expects graphite demand to increase more than tenfold between now and 2030. The company says that, using its technology and renewable hydropower, the project can potentially reduce CO2 emissions by more than 90 percent compared to conventional production, and reduce energy consumption by around 50 percent.
“The production of batteries is energy-consuming, so we need to see production processes that are more energy-efficient in the future, such as the innovative synthetic graphite production technology Elkem has developed,” said Enova’s Director of Markets, Øyvind Leistad.
“Our Northern Recharge project competitively positions us for large-scale and cost-effective material science solutions for the rapidly developing European battery industry,” said Elkem VP Stian Madshus. “Elkem has significant industrial processing experience, and by utilizing efficient and renewable Norwegian hydropower, our product portfolio developments will be uniquely positioned for today’s EV requirements and tomorrow’s next-generation advancements for rapid charging and longer range.”