Nornickel expands Finnish nickel output to supply EV batteries market

by Margaret Lau
Expansion 'will strengthen refinery's role as key battery materials producer'. Photo: Nornickel
Russian metals and mining group Nornickel is expanding production at its nickel refinery in Finland, in response to increasing European demand for lithium-ion battery raw materials for electric vehicles.

The European Battery Alliance member, which is one of the world’s largest producers of nickel and cobalt, said nickel output at its Harjavalta refinery, during the first phase of the expansion, will increase from the current 65 kilotonnes per annum to 75 ktpa in 2023 and during the second phase to more than 100 ktpa by early 2026.

Nornickel Harjavalta MD Joni Hautojärvi said the expansion, coupled with the development of battery metals recycling, "will further strengthen Harjavalta refinery’s position as one of the most sustainable producers of nickel and cobalt metals to the EV battery industry”.

Renewable energy

The refinery produces nickel in cathodes, briquettes, crystallised salts and solution and cobalt in crystallised sulfate and in solution.

Nornickel said the refinery is "mainly powered by renewable energy” and recycles more than 90% of its waste.

Last month, European Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič said Europe was "well on track to become the second largest battery cell producer in the world”, behind China.

Šefčovič said the industry estimates that the "EV surge will accelerate” – reaching seven to eight million registrations of new EVs by 2025.

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