Planning for an anode materials production facility for the battery manufacturing industry in Vaasa
Finnish Minerals Group and Epsilon Advanced Materials have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) under which the companies will evaluate the possibility of setting up an anode materials production facility in Vaasa. A plot of land in the GigaVaasa area has been reserved for the facility after it became vacant when the cooperation between Grafintec Oy and Epsilon Advanced Materials ended on the 25th of August 2022.
“I am very pleased that the development of the GigaVaasa area is continuing according to plan, as the value chain is complemented with anode materials production. The cooperation between Epsilon and Finnish Minerals Group has been very productive and extremely efficient,” says Tomas Häyry, Mayor of Vaasa.
The site reservation was approved at the Vaasa City Board’s meeting on the 3rd of October 2022. The company has reserved Plot 18, which is located close to the site reserved by FREYR Battery for its battery cell plant.
According to a Finnish Minerals Group’s press release, cooperation on the production facility project will begin with the preparation of an environmental impact assessment programme. The aim is to launch the EIA procedure for the project in early 2023 by submitting an EIA programme to the coordinating authorities.
“Around 1,200 gigawatt hours of battery cell production is currently in the pipeline in Europe up to the end of this decade, which will require strong battery materials production. Together with Epsilon, we are among the first to start a project for the production of anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. From Finnish Minerals Group’s perspective, this project complements our existing cathode materials projects that are at a more advance stage,” says Vesa Koivisto, Senior Vice President of Battery Operations at Finnish Minerals Group.
“The world is moving towards an electric ecosystem, which will multiply the demand for batteries. We expect global investment in the battery value chain to grow, and local battery manufacturing to be strengthened by such investments. Our cooperation with Finnish Minerals Group is starting at exactly the right time. Our goal is to build a sustainable operational environment for the battery ecosystem in Europe,” says Vikram Handa, Managing Director of Epsilon Advanced Materials.
- Read also: Finnish Minerals Group’s press release
GigaVaasa Area Timeline:
- April 2021: First reservation for the GigaVaasa area; Johnson Matthey selects Vaasa as the location for a sustainable battery materials plant.
- August 2021: FREYR Battery selects Vaasa as the location of a battery cell plant; a memorandum of understanding (MoU) is signed for a 90-hectare plot.
- November 2021: Johnson Matthey announces the sale of its battery materials business. However, Vaasa continues negotiations with the company’s new owner.
- January 2022: Grafintec Oy and Epsilon Advanced Materials sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Vaasa to build a plant to produce anode materials for the battery industry in the GigaVaasa area.
- January 2022: FREYR Battery’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) commences.
- May 2022: FREYR Battery and the City of Vaasa enter into a fixed-term lease agreement for 130 hectares of land.
- August 2022: Grafintec Oy and Epsilon Advanced Materials dissolve their mutual cooperation agreement. They continue discussions with the City of Vaasa.
- September 2022: The memorandum of understanding with Grafintec Oy and Epsilon Advanced Materials has to be formally terminated as cooperation between the companies has ended and in order to start new negotiations on the site in question.
- October 2022: Finnish Minerals Group and Epsilon Advanced Materials sign a memorandum of understanding under which the companies will evaluate the possibility of setting up an anode materials production facility in Vaasa.
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