Fortum, a leading European energy company and a forerunner in battery recycling technology, has founded Fortum Batterie Recycling GmbH in Germany to provide safe and sustainable electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling in central Europe.
The market entry is a major step forward in Fortum’s ambitious bid to become Europe’s top recycler of EV batteries and battery materials. The newly established company in Germany aims to address the European automotive and battery manufacturing industry’s rising demand for battery raw materials. The new recycling hub for ‘end-of-life’ lithium-ion batteries and wastes from battery manufacturing is expected to start its operations by the end of 2022, in the industrial cluster at Baden-Wurttenberg in southern Germany.
Kalle Saarimaa, Vice President, Fortum Recycling and Waste said:
“We are bringing our competencies and superior battery recycling technology into the heart of the European automotive market to provide on-site services to companies operating within the automotive and battery industry. We will offer our low-carbon recycling technology in Germany, leveraging industrial synergies with the automotive and battery manufacturers.”
Tero Holländer, Head of Business Line, Batteries, Fortum said:
“Our new central European recycling operations provide a unique possibility for local manufacturers to connect on the fast-growing Finnish sustainable battery raw materials cluster. For now, our recycling operations will create approximately twenty jobs in the near future. However, the full impact of the hub will be much broader as a result of its connection to our hydrometallurgical recycling facility located in Finland, where a major part of the European EV batteries reaching their end-of-life could be recycled as of next year.”
The battery black mass obtained will be recycled at Fortum’s novel hydrometallurgical recycling facility in Harjavalta, Finland, from where it can be fed back to the European battery value chain.
“If you imagine that for a fully electric car lithium-ion battery, you need approximately 50 kg of nickel, 8 kg of lithium and 7 kg of cobalt, you start to comprehend the size of the challenge of the raw materials shortage in Europe. For the EV and battery sector to be sustainable, we need to recover raw materials from the battery production process in the most sustainable way. Fortum has comprehensive expertise in this technology through its own in-house R&D and IP development. Our unique low-CO2 battery recycling solution makes it possible to recycle over 80% of the battery, and 95% of the valuable metals contained in the battery’s black mass can be put back into circulation”, explains Holländer.
The Germany-based battery recycling operations will allow Fortum to help bridge the raw materials gap the automotive industry is facing, which is even more in focus with the upcoming EU-wide battery regulation that is expected to drastically increase the quantity of recycled raw materials in new batteries.
Fortum’s hydrometallurgical battery recycling operations have received IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) grants from Business Finland in conjunction with the EU Commission’s European Battery Innovation project, underpinning the strategic role of the EV batteries recycling development work done by Fortum.
About Fortum’s Harjavalta battery material recycling facility in Finland
Fortum is expanding its lithium-ion battery recycling capacity by building a new state-of-the-art hydrometallurgical plant in Harjavalta, Finland. The recycling facility under construction in Harjavalta is a significant investment in sustainable solutions for the future. The new hydrometallurgical battery material recycling facility will be operational in 2023. Once fully operational, the new facility will enable a significant increase in Fortum’s processing and recycling capacity. Fortum’s Harjavalta facility is currently operated as an industrial-scale pilot plant.