Nornickel aims to take over EV battery market, boosts the output of Finland plant
MOSCOW (RUSSIA) – As part of its efforts to expand the market for battery materials needed for electric vehicles (EV), Russian metals producer Nornickel plans to boost the output of nickel products at its Harjavalta plant in Finland.
Its Harjavalta refinery will expand production of nickel sulphate solution, which is used for the manufacture of intermediate products for lithium-ion batteries.
Being close to customers is vital for this product as long-distance transport eats up the bulk of its profitability, head of sales, Anton Berlin said, adding, “We are confident that this market will be rising,” Berlin said. Estimates of nickel consumption by the global electric and hybrid vehicles sector vary from 400,000 tonnes to 700,000 tonnes a year by 2025.
The company plans to raise production of nickel products to 75,000 tonnes by 2023 and to more than 100,000 tonnes by 2026, including at least 40,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate solution.
This solution would be enough to produce 1 million of electric vehicles, based on the current nickel per car usage.
Despite its expansion of raw materials production for the EV sector, Nornickel does not plan to move into actual EV battery production as it believes that “is a completely different business” to its own, Berlin added.
The Harjavalta project will cost the company several tens of million dollars.