Hydro aims to become a major international player in the manufacture of electric batteries, and the recycling of those batteries.
The company says its experience in developing energy and recycling aluminum form the foundation for battery businesses.
Hydro’s Sapa division operates a bath enclosure fabrication plant in Magnolia, but isn’t involved in the company’s efforts to make and recycle lithium batteries.
Morten Halleraker, head of the Batteries unit in Hydro, said Oslo, Norway-based Hydro can contribute to fighting climate change with batteries.
The battery sector is expected to grow very fast globally and in Europe, mainly on the back of the ongoing automotive industry transformation from fossil fuel to electrical vehicles.
There is demand for a sustainable European battery value chain, and Hydro and Norway is well placed to take significant positions in this sector, Halleraker said in a Hydro podcast.
Hydro is in the middle of efforts to develop vehicle battery production and recycling, as well as electrification of ferries and energy storage solutions – all built on experience with ownership stakes in recent years in industry pioneers.
Working with strategic partners Panasonic and the Norwegian energy company Equinor, Hydro is eyeing a potential new electric vehicle battery plant in Norway, and is in a joint venture with battery producer Northvolt to recycle used vehicle batteries.
Halleraker said the future of transportation in Europe is electric, and Hydro is along for the ride.
“Right now, we are focused on scaling the very best technology with the absolute leaders in the space,” Halleraker says. “But we have the clear ambition to develop the technology together with those leaders.
“We are seeing a historic possibility to build an entirely new industry in Europe. It’s a sustainable industry. It is the future. And it’s happening right now.”