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March 10, 2020

Fortum, BASF, Nornickel, ink battery recycling LoI

Fortum, BASF, and Nornickel have signed a letter of intent to plan a battery recycling cluster in Harjavalta, Finland, serving the electric vehicle market.

By Rhodri Morgan

Fortum, BASF, and Nornickel have signed a letter of intent to plan a battery recycling cluster in Harjavalta, Finland, serving the electric vehicle market.

This would enable a closed loop cycle to re-use critical metals present in used batteries.

Using metals from recycled batteries to produce battery materials offers significant CO2 reduction in the production of electric vehicles. Additional CO2 reduction can be achieved by using electricity from renewable sources in Finland for the recycling process.

“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,” said Fortum Recycling and Waste head of Business Development, Tero Holländer.

“Through our previous acquisition of a Finnish growth company, Crisolteq, an expert in low CO2 hydro-metallurgical processing, we are proud Fortum is now able to increase the recovery rate of valuable materials in lithium-ion batteries from 50% to over 80%.”

BASF intends to use recycled materials from the processes developed by the companies in the cooperation in its planned battery materials precursor plant in Harjavalta, Finland.

“The combination of battery materials production and recycling enables the circular economy by closing the loop,” added BASF VP, Precious Metals Refining, Chemicals & Battery Recycling, Tim Ingle.

“To drive electrification, we are focused on bringing solutions for high energy density cathode active materials and high efficiency lithium extraction for battery recycling.”

The parties aim to foster the production and use of responsibly produced recycled raw materials in the battery market.

“A modern recycling unit next to Nornickel Harjavalta would further strengthen its position as one of the most sustainable nickel refineries in the world,” noted Nornickel Harjavalta MD, Joni Hautojärvi.

“This setup is ideal for sustainable processing of two of the main metals used in Li-ion batteries. 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.”

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