Chemicals and cathode giant BASF has locked in a local source of feedstock for its European battery materials business, announcing on Monday that it had signed a long-term, market-based agreement with Russian miner Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) for nickel and cobalt supply.
The German group also unveiled Harjavalta, Finland, as the first location for a battery materials plant, which will be constructed adjacent to Nornickel’s nickel and cobalt refinery.
The investment is part of BASF's €400-million multi-step investment plan announced last year and builds upon initial battery materials production started in Harjavalta in 2018.
Start-up of the new plant is planned for late 2020, enabling the supply of about 300 000 full electric vehicles a year with BASF battery materials.
"The co-location of BASF's new plant and Nornickel's metal refinery in Harjavalta will enable unparalleled access to a local nickel and cobalt supply," said BASF senior VP for battery materials, Jeffrey Lou.
Nornickel senior VP for sales, procurement and innovation Sergey Batekhin added that the agreement formed part of the miner’s broader strategy to expand its presence in the global battery materials market.
"We believe that electric vehicles have significant potential to transform the global nickel industry, and Nornickel - as the world's leading supplier of refined nickel products - is uniquely positioned to support this transformation. We feel especially proud that our company can play an important role in supporting the development of the green economy in Europe and globally,” Batekhin commented.