As part of BASF’s €400 million ($460 million) multi-step investment plan, it has selected Harjavalta, Finland, as the first location for a battery materials production hub serving the European automotive market.
The plant will be constructed adjacent to the nickel and cobalt refinery owned by Norilsk Nickel, which is cooperating with BASF on the supply of raw materials for future battery materials production for lithium-ion batteries in Europe.
The investment builds upon initial battery materials production started in Harjavalta this year.
Start-up of the hub is planned for late 2020, enabling the supply of approximately 300,000 full electric vehicles per year with BASF battery materials, BASF said. The new plant will use locally-generated renewable energy sources, including hydro, wind and biomass.
Additionally, BASF and Nornickel have signed a long-term, market-based supply agreement for nickel and cobalt feedstock from Nornickel’s metal refinery. BASF said: “The agreement will establish a locally sourced and secure supply of raw materials for battery production in Europe.”
Kenneth Lane, President, BASF’s Catalysts division, said: “With the investment in Harjavalta, BASF will be present in all major regions with local production and increased customer proximity further supporting the rapidly growing electric vehicle market.
“Combined with our Nornickel cooperation, we are creating a strong platform that connects the efforts between industry leaders in raw material supply and battery materials technology and production.”
Jeffrey Lou, Senior Vice President, Battery Materials at BASF, added that the company’s high-nickel cathode materials were key to delivering enhanced energy density and vehicle range to its customers.