Materials technology firm Umicore has finalised a €125 million ($141 million) loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) as it looks to develop a lithium-ion battery cathode plant in Europe.
The proceeds of the loan, which has a maturity of eight years, will finance part of the Belgium firm’s investment in the cathode materials plant in Nysa.
Once completed, this greenfield plant will supply the European operations of Umicore’s global battery cell and automotive customers.
In 2018, Umicore announced plans for the battery plant, which at the time was set to cost more than 1.38 billion zlotys ($349 million).
The EIB announced in May that it expects to increase its backing of battery-related projects to more than €1 billion ($1 billion) of financing this year.
Since 2010, battery projects financed by the EIB totalled €950 million ($1 billion) and supported €4.7 billion ($5 billion) of overall project costs.
In April, the EIB proposed around €51 million ($57 million) to allow Inobat (Slovakian battery R&D firm), IPM Group Holdings (UK investment firm) and Wildcat Discovery Technologies (US battery R&D firm) to build and operate a battery manufacturing demonstration line in Slovakia.
The 100MWh (€105 million) facility would mainly serve the CEE-based automotive manufacturers (OEM).
In March, LG Chem Group’s ambitions to build a €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) lithium-ion gigafactory in Europe was boosted with a €480 million ($538 million) loan agreement from the EIB.
The cash will finance the design, construction, commissioning and operation of the large-scale lithium-ion battery cells-to-packs manufacturing facility. Packs from the factory will supply of European automotive manufacturers with advanced third generation batteries for electric vehicles.