Chemicals and technology giant Johnson Matthey has signed a deal with a state-backed Finnish company which will allow it to set up a new battery components factory in the country.
The FTSE 100 firm said that it would scale up its battery business with its second plant, near the Finnish city of Vaasa on the country’s west coast.
The plant will benefit from a partnership with Finnish Minerals Group, the company that manages Finland’s stakes in the mining industry.
The state-backed company will help Johnson Matthey invest in a way of treating sodium sulphate, a common by-product that can cause environmental damage.
Johnson Matthey’s site will use renewable energy, and it is working with the local council to use the heat produced by the factory to warm nearby homes.
The business has also signed a deal with Nornickel, which will supply nickel and cobalt from refineries in Finland and Russia. It will source lithium hydroxide from SQM’s plant in Chile.
“The partnership with Finnish Minerals Group, and the long-term supply of critical raw materials with Nornickel and SQM, are important milestones on our journey towards developing a sustainable battery materials ecosystem and further demonstrate the progress we are making on the commercialisation of our business,” said Johnson Matthey chief executive Robert MacLeod.
“With sustainability at the heart of our strategy and an increasingly important requirement for our customers and consumers, we are delighted to be working with our partners to deliver sustainable cathode materials to the market.”
Finnish Minerals Group CEO Matti Hietanen said: “Finnish Minerals Group and Johnson Matthey share a strong commitment to sustainable solutions, so we are excited to have signed a strategic partnership to develop novel solutions for sodium sulphate and raw material treatment.
“This is a strong testament of Finland’s leading position in developing a sustainable battery materials ecosystem in Europe.”