Apr 29, 2021

Looking up North: Finland is hot news for building up Europe’s supply chain capacities

Last week the British chemical company Johnson Matthey has announced its ambition to build a new factory for the production of its nickel-rich eLNO cathode materials in a strategic partnership with Finnish Minerals Group (FMG) in Finland. The plant will be designed for an annual output of 30,000 tonnes of cathode material and construction is expected to begin later this year.

Johnson-Matthey’s announcement is only the latest in a series of supply chain initiatives in Finland, a country that starts to be in the centre of supplying the European battery industry with raw and battery materials.

In February, Finnish Minerals Group already announced that it was undertaking a definitive feasibility study for a precursor production plant in Hamina (DFS) together with one of China’s leading precursor producers, CNGR. It is estimated that the DFS will be completed in the first half of 2021. If Finnish Minerals Group and CNGR will then decide to setup a joint venture to build and operate the precursor materials plant, construction is expected to start in 2022.

Moreover, Norilsk announced plans in April to ramp up nickel production at its Harjavalta refinery in Finland from its current 65,000 tpa capacity to over 100,000 tpa by 2026, whilst Terrafame intends to begin commercial production of nickel sulphate at its new 135,000 tpa refinery in Sotokamo in Q2 2021.  This refinery will be, once in full operation, one of the largest nickel sulphate refineries in the world by capacity.

All of this is good news for the Europe’s battery supply chain that will need to ramp up in order to keep up with the fast-growing demand!

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