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October 8, 2021

Renault teams with Terrafame for nickel supply

Terrafame operates one of world's largest lines for battery chemicals used in EV batteries in Finland.

By Simon Warburton

Renault and Terrafame have signed an MoU for future supply of nickel sulphate.

With the agreement, Renault Group will secure a significant annual supply of nickel sulphate from Terrafame, representing up to 15 GWh of annual capacity.

The cooperation will start by paying attention to sustainability systems and defining detailed metrics for traceability beyond solutions currently used for EV battery chemicals production. Renault is also building an electric ecosystem in Northern France known as Renault ElectriCity.

Combined with the recent partnership with Vulcan to secure low-carbon lithium and the alliance with Veolia & Solvay to recycle battery materials in a closed loop, the new agreement marks a step towards reduction of the environmental footprint of EVs throughout their life cycle and towards the objective of carbon neutrality for the Group in Europe by 2040.

“Partnership with Terrafame is an important component in realising our commitment to reach 30% emissions reduction in our supply chain by 2030,” said Renault purchasing and MD of Alliance Purchasing Organisation, Gianluca De Ficchy.

“Low carbon footprint and traceability of battery chemicals are crucial factors to us and Terrafame has a clear edge on sustainability through its production method. The carbon footprint of nickel sulphate produced by Terrafame is more than 60% smaller than the industry average.”

For his part, Terrafame CEO, Joni Lukkaroinen, added: “For Terrafame, this sets proper guidelines for the coming decade and could well mean a commitment of supplying nickel sulphate for up to 300,000 EVs annually.”

Terrafame’s bioleaching-based production process uses around 90% less energy in the production of nickel sulphate than the industry average. In addition, Terrafame’s integrated production process starts and ends on one industrial site from a mine to battery chemicals production.

These features enable a fast track to implementing sustainability systems and creating transparency throughout the entire value chain.

A statement from Renault added: “The memorandum is not exhaustive, but reflects the parties’ mutual understanding and common intention to deepen their cooperation over battery raw materials. The parties seek to introduce a set of binding agreements involving other actors in the EV battery value chain to take part in this development step.

At its industrial site in Finland, Terrafame operates one of the world’s largest production lines for battery chemicals used in EV batteries.

The plant has capacity to supply nickel sulphate for around 1m electric cars per year.

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