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Survey: Battery materials plants have broad support in Kotka and Hamina

According to a survey commissioned by Finnish Minerals Group, awareness of battery materials and plant projects has increased among the residents of Kotka and Hamina in Finland.


17. June 2024

Of the Kotka and Hamina residents who responded to the survey, 94% consider it important that Europe is increasing its self-sufficiency in the production of batteries and battery materials. 86% of the respondents think it is good that battery materials are produced in Finland, according to a survey commissioned by Finnish Minerals Group from Taloustutkimus, a Finnish research institute.

Together with its partner companies, Finnish Minerals Group is preparing to establish battery materials plants in Kotka and Hamina. When implemented, the plants would create economic wellbeing in the Kymenlaakso region and Finland as a whole, improving employment. At the same time, they offer an opportunity to elevate the degree of processing of Finnish mining raw materials.

In spring 2022, Finnish Minerals Group commissioned a similar survey, the respondents of which included not only Kotka and Hamina residents but also other Kymenlaakso residents living farther from the plants under preparation. As the preparations progress, the company wants to hear local residents’ opinions on the plants also through surveys.

Awareness of the projects has grown – the Kotka project is still less well-known

More than nine in ten respondents, 92%, estimate that establishing battery materials plants in Kotka and Hamina will strengthen the Kymenlaakso region’s economy and employment. 87% of the respondents say that they have a rough understanding of where battery materials are used.

“The plant projects in Kotka and Hamina have gained a great deal of publicity, as they are among the first large battery materials projects in Finland and the entire Europe. Together with the city organisations, we have engaged in extensive stakeholder work in both projects, which is now positively reflected in the survey results,” says Timo Strengell, SVP, Battery Value Chain at Finnish Minerals Group.

The Hamina plant is planned to produce precursor cathode active material (pCAM), whose raw materials include nickel and cobalt sulphates, which Terrafame is already producing in Sotkamo, Finland. The Kotka plant will process pCAM and lithium into cathode active material that is used to produce cathode, the most valuable part of a battery cell, in cell plants.

Future operators will be Finnish limited liability companies

87% of the respondents either fully or somewhat agree with the statement that they support the battery materials plant in Kotka if it is implemented in accordance with the environmental permit conditions. For the battery materials plant in Hamina, the same figure is 83%.

“The survey supports the impression we have got from various public events, such as those held in marketplaces in Kotka and Hamina. Most people welcome the plants,” states Strengell.

Based on the survey, Kotka and Hamina residents are interested in receiving more information especially about the plants’ environmental impact.

“In February 2024, the Regional State Administrative Agency granted an environmental permit for the Hamina plant, and the permit is currently being processed in the Administrative Court. The environmental permit application concerning the Kotka plant was submitted to the authorities in May. The plants will be built using the best available technologies, and two Finnish limited liability companies will become their operators,” says Strengell.

The survey was conducted in May–June 2024 by interviewing 18–79-year-old residents of Kotka and Hamina by telephone. 300 people responded to the survey, 200 of which were from Kotka and 100 from Hamina. 51% of the respondents were men and 49% women.


Finnish Minerals Group

The mission of Finnish Minerals Group is to responsibly maximise the value of Finnish minerals. We manage the State’s mining industry shareholdings and strive to develop the Finnish value chain of lithium-ion batteries. Through our work, we contribute to Europe moving towards electric transport and a more sustainable future.