Silicon anode battery deal in Norway

Silicon anode battery deal in Norway

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Vianode and Morrow Batteries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development and qualification of large-scale supply of graphite and silicon anode materials for a battery gigafactory being built in Norway.

The Morrow lithium ion battery gigafactory is being constructed in Eyde Energy Park, Arendal, Norway and Vianode plans to supply the anode materials from its planned large-scale plant for battery graphite at Herøya Industrial Park.

As part of the deal the two will jointly develop tailored, high-end anode materials suited for applications of Morrow lithium-ion cells, including both synthetic graphite and silicon anode materials. The joint development aims to exploit the production process and product design from both companies with a long-term, high volume supply agreement for anode materials. The agreement is non-binding, and non-exclusive.

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Vianode is part of the Hydra and 3beLiEVe research projects on next generation lithium-ion batteries usig silicon anode materials, coordinated by SINTEF and the Austrian Institute of Technology, respectively. Both projects have received funding from the EU Horizon programme. Vianode is also investing in R&D on recycling of battery-grade graphite which is supported by the Norwegian Research Council.

“We see great interest in Vianode’s planned large-scale production of sustainable active anode materials and have established dialogue with the leading battery cell manufacturers in Norway, Europe and the U.S. The marketplace conservatively expects the battery demand growth to increase ten times over the current decade, and we expect the same development for battery materials. We look forward to continuing the partnership with Morrow, as an important partner towards large-scale production of battery materials,” said Chris York, VP of Vianode.

Vianode has raised NOK10m (€1m) to fund the initial planning of the potential large-scale battery materials plant in Norway. The project has also previously received grants from Innovation Norway related to a pilot plant, and is on the shortlist for support from EU’s Innovation Fund.

“Our ambition is to produce the most cost-effective and sustainable batteries in the world. Partnerships like this with suppliers based in Europe will ensure world-leading regional supply of battery materials to our facilities, whilst keeping the CO2-footprint as low as possible. This partnership is a good example of how we envision the development of the Battery Coast, a circular ecosystem built with industrial partners around the battery value chain,” says Terje Andersen, CEO of Morrow Batteries.

Later this year, Morrow Batteries will begin construction of its Battery Innovation Centre and Pilot Factory in southern Norway.

“This is an important milestone for us, as we are taking our first steps to establish Morrow Industrialization Centre. With this world leading infrastructure, we will be able to conduct costumer qualification testing and accelerate the development and industrialization of new battery technology. We are bridging the gap between component development, cell design and large volume manufacturing,” said Andersen. The Pilot factory will be located at Eyde Energi Park, just outside the city of Arendal, co-located with the Gigafactory and will have an annual capacity of 500 MWh with 90 staff. Construction starts in Q4 2021.

The Battery Innovation Centre will be located at University of Agder campus in Grimstad and will work on its own high-energy lithium-sulphur technology (Li-S) and a cobalt free LNMO-cathode material developed by the partner Haldor Topsøe. This facility allows Morrow to gradually scale and tune the design, preparing for further scaling at the Pilot Factory. The ground floor of the Innovation Centre will be approximately 2000 m2, with several floors of lab facilities and office spaces. The construction will start in Q3 2021, and be the work space for around 30 employees. 

“From here we are establishing an entire regional ecosystem around the battery value chain together with our industrial partners. Morrow Industrialization Centre will be one of the first battery industrialization centres in the world covering all aspects of the current Li-ion technology platform, and at the same time capable of incorporating and accelerating the industrialization of next generation technologies”, says Andersen;;;  

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