Scrap & Recycling
Finnish state-owned electricity producer Fortum has teamed up with chemical producer, BASF, and Russian miner Nornickel to form a battery recycling cluster in Finland.
A letter of intent signed by all three companies announces a plan to develop a recycling operation next to Nornickel's Harjavalta nickel refinery in western Finland. The plant will recycle old lithium-ion batteries, extracting battery metals to go back into the supply chain.
"By recycling valuable metals in lithium-ion batteries, we reduce the environmental impact of electric car batteries by complementing the supply of cobalt, nickel and other critical metals from primary sources," Tero Hollander, Fortum's head of business development, said. "We are very proud that Fortum is now able to increase the recovery rate of valuable materials in lithium-ion batteries from 50pc to more than 80pc."
Finland is hoping to become a hub for the European battery industry, with established nickel mines and refineries in the country. There are also lithium hydroxide projects being developed in central Finland by Kelibar mining and one of the only cobalt refining operations in Europe at Kokkola, owned by Umicore.
Recycling battery materials will serve a dual function in the battery supply chain. "Development of recycling solutions will not only support Nornickel's strategy of further lowering its CO2 footprint and improving sustainability, but it is also essential to enable the industry to meet the growing demand of critical metals in the electric vehicle sector," said Joni Hautojarvi, managing director of Nornickel Harjavalalta.
By Thomas Kavanagh