viistoilmakuvaThe Vaasa battery factory project has brought together a large nationwide network of cooperation partners

The extensive battery factory project launched by Vaasa just over a year ago has brought together a strong network. Alongside the largest energy technology cluster in the Nordic countries – EnergyVaasa – the Kokkola region also plays a key role with high-quality raw material refining and battery chemistry-related research.

In addition, the network includes five companies that can supply essential raw materials for the battery industry in a sustainable and ethical way globally. Companies operating in Finland can cover a significant part of the battery industry value chain: mineral reserves, the production of cathode and anode materials for battery chemicals, and eventually the production and recycling of battery cells and batteries.

The cooperation network is working specifically to obtain international investment in the battery cluster in Finland. In this work, covering the entire value chain in the field is an essential issue and an interesting valuable proposition for large international operators.

"During the year, several new battery factory projects have been launched in the world. We are having discussions with American, Asian and European battery manufacturers. Demand for batteries will continue to grow, especially around applications like local energy storage solutions and traffic. Finland now has a unique opportunity to be involved in the growth and active development of this new field of industry," says
Mayor of Vaasa, Tomas Häyry.

Finland is also highly competitive in other key criteria for battery operators, such as the price of clean electricity, labour skills, productivity, and training. The salary level of engineers is also moderate in Finland compared to Germany, for example.

The cooperation network includes the cities of Vaasa and Kokkola; Freeport Cobalt, the world's largest cobalt refinery and producer of battery chemicals; Nornickel, the producer of world-class nickel metals and nickel chemicals in Harjavalta; Terrafame Group, the parent company of Terrafame producing nickel, zinc, cobalt and copper in Sotkamo; Keliber, which is preparing to start lithium production in Kaustinen and Kokkola; as well as BeoWulf Mining, the owner of a graphite deposit in Heinävesi.

The network was established at Vaasa’s initiative. The EnergyVaasa cluster accounts for almost a third of Finland’s total energy technology exports, and the region also has very strong electronics and automation technology expertise. In the Vaasa region, a large area of several hundred hectares is being planned for battery factories: at its peak, construction work can be started already this year.

"The common goal is to speed up the world’s transition to sustainable energy. The development of land use in the area reserved for battery manufacturing operations is proceeding as planned, and the EIA process has been accelerated by implementing the program phase together with regional operators. This will enable us to offer a well-prepared site for even significantly large battery cluster investments at a fast schedule," says Ulla Mäki-Lohiluoma, CEO of Vaasa Parks Oy.

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