Australia's EcoGraf evaluating plan for anode materials facility in Sweden's batteries hub

by John Shepherd
EcoGraf is evaluating the location for production of battery anode materials using its 'HF free’ purification process.
Australian battery anode materials developer EcoGraf today named Sweden as a potential site for its first European manufacturing facility.

The company has signed a "land reservation agreement” with municipal authorities for a 65,000 square metre industrial site in Skellefteå – which is already a hive of activity for Europe’s burgeoning electric vehicle batteries supply chain.

The facility would produce high purity battery anode material without the use of hydrofluoric acid (HF), instead using EcoGraf’s proprietary ‘HF free’ purification process. EcoGraf plans to produce spherical graphite to sell directly to lithium-ion battery manufacturers.

'Markets access'

Skellefteå is where Northvolt is building a lithium-ion battery plant – for which the Swedish company recently raised $2.75bn (£1.9bn) in equity to expand planned annual production capacity of the site from 40 GWh to 60 GWh.

EcoGraf did not disclose financial details of its project, but said the region has "an abundant supply of clean, renewable energy with the lowest industrial power costs in Europe, an educated and skilled labour force and a nearby port for ready access to key battery and industrial markets across Europe”.

The company is now preparing for a "more detailed assessment” of the site but said the location "is of sufficient size to include future expansions to accommodate increased production, further downstream value adding and battery anode recycling”.

Key EU player

Meanwhile, EcoGraf said it continues to look at other locations for battery anode material facilities in Europe, including Germany – where the company is in talks with the country’s economic development agency, Germany Trade & Invest.

Sweden has set its sights on becoming a key player in Europe’s developing EV battery cells manufacturing industry. Last year, transport company Scania said it planned a lithium-ion battery assembly plant in the country.

Separately, Australia’s Talga Resources, Japan-based trading and investment firm Mitsui & Co and Sweden’s state-owned Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara signed a non-binding letter of intent to jointly develop northern Sweden’s Vittangi graphite mine as a key step towards establishing a "resilient” European battery supply chain.

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