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Recycling pilot receives Enova support

Hydro and Northvolt's planned pilot plant for recycling used electric car batteries from the Norwegian car market will receive NOK 43.5 million in support from Enova. The goal is to start construction of the plant in early 2021.

raw materials for battery recycling
From the electric car batteries, Hydro Volt will recycle cobalt, nickel, manganese and lithium, among other things. The batteries also contain aluminum, which will be sent to Hydro's businesses to become new products. (Photo: Northvolt)

“We are pleased that Enova sees the importance of what Hydro and Northvolt want to achieve and wants to contribute to realizing Hydro Volt. This is a milestone on the road to utilizing the opportunities in sustainable battery recycling,” says Hydro President & CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim. She emphasizes that Hydro Volt is part of Hydro's stated strategy of strengthening its position in low-carbon aluminum and growing in new areas, including recycling, renewable energy and batteries.

Together with the Swedish battery company Northvolt, Hydro announced in June that they are establishing the company Hydro Volt to build a pilot plant for recycling materials from used electric car batteries. The plant, planned to be built in Fredrikstad, will be the first of its kind in Norway and will be one of the most technologically advanced recycling plants in the world.

“If they succeed with this, it can be more profitable and thus more attractive to recycle batteries. So this is a good project for Enova and the low-emission society,” says Enova CEO Nils Kristian Nakstad regarding allocating support for the project.

Enova is a Norwegian government enterprise supporting clean energy and climate efforts.

Hydro Volt is owned 50/50 by Hydro and Northvolt, which is a leading European battery manufacturer based in Sweden. The products from the planned recycling plant for batteries in Fredrikstad will consist of aluminum and other valuable battery raw materials. The aluminum will be recycled by Hydro, while other valuable materials will either be reused in Northvolt's battery production or sold to other parties.

“The state-of-the-art recycling plant in Fredrikstad will play an important role in driving Europe towards a circular economy in several industries. At Northvolt, we have set a goal that 50% of the raw materials we use will come from recycled batteries by 2030, and the establishment of this facility in Fredrikstad is an important milestone,” says Emma Nehrenheim, head of sustainability at Northvolt.

The pilot plant in Fredrikstad will be largely automated and designed for crushing and sorting batteries. It will have the capacity to process more than 8,000 tonnes of batteries each year, with the possibility of later capacity expansion. The plant is expected to cost about NOK 120 million.

The plant will be operated by Batteriretur, and the CEO of Batteriretur, Fredrik Andresen, will also be CEO of Hydro Volt.

The final investment decision has not yet been made, but the goal is to get all the pieces in place before the year is over so that construction can start early next year.

About Hydro Volt

  • Joint initiative by Hydro and Northvolt, established in the summer of 2020
  • Plans to build Norway's first plant for recycling electric car batteries
  • The facility will be one of the most technologically advanced of its kind in the world
  • Hydro Volt wants to contribute to a more sustainable circular economy for electric car batteries in Europe
øyvind breivik

Øyvind Breivik

Head of Communication and Public Affairs, Energy