03/01/2020

Finnish Minerals Group is gearing up for an environmental impact assessment of battery value chain investments

Finnish Minerals Group has started the preparations for an EIA procedure for two new plants that would produce precursor and cathode active materials needed in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries. The EIA procedure will start in winter 2020, when the EIA programme is to be submitted to the coordinating authority.

Finnish Minerals Group is preparing an environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure to examine the establishment of precursor and cathode active material plants in Finland. The company is also continuing negotiations regarding investments with potential corporate partners. The EIA procedure will be carried out in the name of Finnish Battery Chemicals Oy, a subsidiary established by Finnish Minerals Group for the preparation of investments.

“The negotiations on plant investments have progressed well and we are working actively to complete them. As part of the investment planning, we have started preparations for the EIA programme alongside the negotiations, so that the issues to be resolved will come up as early as possible and the preparations can be done carefully. This is the best way for us to ensure that also the responsibility of operations can be assessed and taken into account in a comprehensive way,” says SVP, Battery Operations Vesa Koivisto from Finnish Minerals Group.

Programme phase to be completed during spring

The EIA procedure is divided into two phases in accordance with the EIA Act. The programme phase involves describing project alternatives and the current state of the environment related to project as well as preparing a proposal on what issues will be assessed and how the assessments are to be carried out. The programme phase is followed by the report phase outlining the results of the assessment and examining the implementation of the project.

The EIA procedure for the precursor and cathode active material plants will start during winter 2020, when the EIA programme is to be submitted to the ELY Centre serving as the coordinating authority. The aim is for the programme phase to be completed during spring 2020. The progress and target schedule of the report phase will be decided separately.

Potential locations include Kokkola, Vaasa, Kotka and Hamina

Finnish Minerals Group has selected the potential plant locations for the EIA programme phase based on a diligent site analysis. The starting point in the preparations is that the precursor plant would be located in Kokkola, Vaasa, Kotka or Hamina and the cathode active material plant in Vaasa or Kotka. Production capacity options will be evaluated during the preparation of the programme.

EIA monitoring groups will be assembled from key stakeholders in Kokkola, Vaasa, Kotka and Hamina, and their role is to support the flow and exchange of information between the different parties. Alongside the monitoring groups, other communities and individuals can also participate in the procedure by submitting written opinions on the EIA programme to the coordinating authority within the time limit to be announced later. In addition, the coordinating authority and Finnish Minerals Group will inform about public hearing meetings, for example, on their websites. Prior to the EIA procedure, a preliminary consultation has also been organised between the key authorities and the company responsible for the project.

Battery value chain provides an opportunity to develop industry

The worldwide demand for batteries and the materials and components needed to produce them is increasing with the proliferation of electric vehicles and new means of storing energy. According to the estimate presented by European Commission, the annual potential of the European battery value chain could rise above EUR 250 billion over the next five years.

One of the tasks of Finnish Minerals Group is to develop the Finnish value chain of lithium-ion batteries. Finland already has many industrial companies and service providers operating at different stages of the battery value chain, but as of yet there is no high-tech production of precursor and cathode active materials, for example. In addition to these, Finnish Minerals Group promotes the establishment of cell production and the battery recycling industry in Finland.

 

More information for the media:

CEO Matti Hietanen, +358 40 823 8806, matti.hietanen@mineralsgroup.fi
SVP, Battery Value Chain Vesa Koivisto, +358 50 453 6322, vesa.koivisto@mineralsgroup.fi

More information about the terms:

The battery value chain extends from the production of metals to battery chemicals, materials, cells and packs. Finished lithium-ion batteries are used in electric vehicles, energy storage and consumer products. After use, batteries and their materials can be reused and recycled into industrial raw materials.

Precursor refers to the preliminary stage of the lithium-ion battery cathode active material. Cathode active material, in turn, is a powdery end-product used in cathode manufacturing at cell plants.

 

Finnish Minerals Group is a special-purpose company fully owned by the State of Finland, aiming at responsibly maximising the value of Finnish minerals. We work as an active owner of Finnish mining and battery industry companies, as well as a technological developer of the battery value chain for electric cars. www.mineralsgroup.fi