It is now 18 months since Elkem Solar at Herøya – now known as REC Solar Norway – began producing silicon blocks, and since then the company has beaten production records, improved its technology and reduced costs. They have now set ambitious new targets – a 40 per cent production increased by 2020, at a lower production cost.
The landing of MSG’s Boeing 737 in front of 1200 curious onlookers at Geitryggen in Skien in January heralded the start of MSG founder Svein Gunnar Mæland’s concept for the aviation market, and the beginning of a new aviation industry in Grenland.
The whole world demands rare earth metals. The EU's Horizon 2020 program now supports a Herøya-based project of NOK 125 million, which will ensure sustainable, stable and safe European production of rare earths. Pilotarena Herøya has been the trigger for the project.
Towards the end of last year, Nordic Blue Crude was able to finalise the financing for project engineering and planning of the climate-friendly diesel production plant. The factory is to be built at Herøya Industrial Park (HIP) and, if all goes to plan, construction will start during 2018.
RHI Normag has decided to restart the production of fused magnesia on Herøya, and will need about 40 new employees. The decision was taken based on the positive results of the test run in December 2017, and increased demand for high quality fused magnesia.
Norsep is aiming to build Norway’s first environmental and recycling plant for fly ash. They are now building a test plant at Herøya and will be starting on testing new process technology at some point next year.
The very first turnkey plug-and-play Connect LNG solution works and is now tried and tested technology, ready for the market. “The tests and demonstrations surpassed all our expectations and provide us with a real breakthrough,” says Morten Christophersen, entrepreneur and general manager of technology company Connect LNG, with enormous enthusiasm.
– My experience is that high levels of activity in research and development and close collaboration with the academic community make places attractive. By investing even more in R&D, Herøya Industrial Park could attract more new businesses, Sverre Gotaas says.
Enova has granted a funding commitment of NOK 19.5 million to NorMag AS, for use in construction of a pilot facility for energy and climate-efficient production of magnesium and silica at Herøya. The facility will produce the world’s first CO2-free magnesium.
– Vi skal informere mer, i flere kanaler og ha tettere nabokontakt og dialog. Både om hva som skjer i alarmsituasjoner, men også om aktiviteter og arbeider som skjer i industriparken ellers, sier Tone Rabe, HMS sjef i Herøya Industripark AS.
Works Manager Geir Ausland and Production Manager Trude Nysæter from Elkem Solar at Herøya are seeing record production rates and tip-top quality following the startup of the world's most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly factory for the production of silicon blocks.
Sverre Gotaas (57) has been named the new director of Herøya Industripark AS (HIP AS), taking over from Thor Oscar Bolstad after his 11 years in the position. Gotaas is currently director of innovation at Kongsberg Gruppen ASA be taking over at Herøya on 1 July 2017.
Yara hopes to dispense with 40,000 trips a year in diesel-powered lorries by switching goods transport from the roads to the sea. The Kongsberg Group is to deliver the technology, and regards sea transport as a main focus area, with autonomous control as a vital core technology.
"Someone has to take the lead. And we decided to be that someone," say Per Knudsen, Director of Yara Porsgrunn at Herøya Industrial Park, and Per Brevik, Sustainability Director at HeidelbergCement Norway, of which Norcem Brevik is a part.
REC buildings 1 and 2 have finally found new owners. The buildings are being purchased by Herøya Industripark AS. The company sees great potential for the two buildings, which cover more than 23,000 square metres.
“Absolutely perfect,” said general manager Susan Heldal when entrepreneurial company OiW Process relocated to Herøya Research Park at the start of the year. This relocation has given them spacious, practical premises with offices, meeting rooms and a laboratory.
"There is currently a strong focus on food waste, since 25% of the food we buy, or every fourth plastic bagful, ends up in the bin, rather than on our plates," says Åse Spangelo, DSc, who is market and application manager at Praxair in Herøya.
Innovation Norway Telemark has made a grant of NOK 35 million to the technology company REEtec, which is to establish a demonstration plant for separation of rare earth elements at Herøya Industripark.
The 52 employees of Addcon at Herøya keep track of weather forecasts in a different way to most other people. Slush, sleet, rain and around 0 C – perfect weather. This is when runways at Gardermoen airport and all other runways in Norway, including those at military bases, are sprayed with de-icing agent from Herøya.
"It is fantastic to be able to return and re-open this solar industry fairy tale. This is possible because Elkem Solar have made formidable efforts to improve the technology and production processes," said Prime Minister Erna Solberg to hundreds of jubilant employees, business representatives, politicians and public sector representatives.