Business Finland: BASF’S new battery materials plant to support EU battery value chain

26 May 2020 | Network Updates | Update from Business Finland
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

In February 2020, BASF has confirmed the new Harjavalta plant will produce precursor cathode active materials. The new precursor cathode active materials (PCAM) plant is complimentary to BASF’s other new plant for cathode active materials (CAM) in Schwarzheide, Germany. Precursors produced in Harjavalta will be further processed in Schwarzheide to enable the supply of about 400,000 fully electric vehicles with battery materials per year.

The start-up for both plants in Finland and Germany is planned for 2022.

Together, the plants serve the growing demand from the European electric vehicles (EV) market. The investments in Finland and Germany reinforce BASF’s support of the EU Commission’s agenda towards a European battery production value chain.

BASF drives sustainability throughout the European battery materials value chain to create value for society. The plant in Harjavalta will receive the raw materials cobalt and nickel from Nornickel’s metal refinery in Harjavalta to establish a locally sourced and secure supply of raw materials for battery production in Europe. At the same time, the Harjavalta plant will utilize renewable energy resources, including hydro, wind and biomass-based power. This advantageous energy mix will provide battery materials with a very low CO2 footprint.

The construction work in Harjavalta has already started: “Seeing the daily progress of the plant construction on site is literally energizing the entire project team composed of BASF employees and many local partners. We are enthusiastic to be among the first ones making the European battery value chain a reality. Finland has great potential to become a major player in the value chain, attracting investments from around the world,” said Tor Stendahl, Managing Director of BASF Finland Oy. “Having recently opened the new street called “Battery Road” to our battery materials plant in Harjavalta is only one symbolic act thereof.”

With the investments in Finland and Germany, BASF will be the first CAM supplier with local production capacities in today’s three major markets – Asia, the U.S. and Europe. BASF will become the leading supplier with a reliable, sustainable and European-based supply chain which will comprise base metal supply, particularly nickel and cobalt, precursor production, and cathode material production within one region.

As part of Business Finland, Invest in Finland helps foreign companies find business opportunities in Finland. "We are very pleased that BASF has chosen Finland as an investment target for cathode-active materials. This is an important step towards a sustainable, low-carbon European battery production value chain, while also supporting the EU's climate targets. BASF's confidence in strong Finnish expertise creates opportunities to further develop the expertise, employment and investments in the battery sector in Finland. Finland has an active and open ecosystem of about 100 operators in the Batteries from Finland battery sector as part of a common European market. We warmly welcome BASF to Finland to develop the European battery ecosystem – together!" says Markku Kivistö – Executive Vice President, Business Finland, Cleantech, Invest in Finland.  

This article was first published on 19 May by Business Finland.

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