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Fortum to expand Europe’s lithium-ion battery recycling capacity with latest investment

Wed, 06/30/2021 - 12:15 -- paul Crompton

Energy company Fortum will expand its lithium-ion battery recycling capacity by building a state-of-the-art plant in Finland.

The Finnish firm will invest €24 million ($28.6 million) into the expansion of its industrial-scale hydrometallurgical pilot plant in Harjavalta.

The plant is expected to be built and in operation by 2023.

The investment is a major step in increasing Fortum’s hydrometallurgical recycling capacity and enabling the production of sustainable battery chemicals. 

The new facility will recover metals from used electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries, including lithium, nickel, cobalt, and manganese.

Kalle Saarimaa, vice president, Fortum Recycling & Waste, said: “Our solid offering covers several key segments of the battery value chain and we look forward to our collaboration with key players in those fields. 

“As the electrification of transportation gathers pace, the raw materials gap faced by the automotive industry is increasingly becoming a serious challenge. Our new facility will strongly support the existing Finnish and European battery manufacturing ecosystems, but it will also help the entire industry produce more sustainable batteries in Europe.” 

Fortum uses a combination of mechanical and low-CO2 hydrometallurgical technologies to recycle the batteries. 

The batteries are disassembled and treated during a mechanical process at Fortum’s plant in Ikaalinen. The battery’s black mass is collected and taken to Harjavalta for hydrometallurgical processing. 

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