Valmet Automotive and Fortum have agreed to cooperate on battery recycling. This will ensure safe and sustainable recycling of all non-compliant battery materials from the battery plants Valmet Automotive operates in Salo and Uusikaupunki, Finland.
The Finnish contract manufacturer Valmet assembles battery modules and systems from purchased cells at its sites. The battery systems are then either delivered to the customer or, if the customer has vehicles made to order by Valmet, installed directly in the vehicles.
Battery assembly is already underway at the Salo plant and is scheduled to start in Uusikaupunki in the second half of 2021 – Valmet has already received three major orders for products from this plant alone. “We consider it as part of our corporate responsibility and an essential part of our commitment to sustainable production that we not only produce the batteries in a CO2 neutral way, but that we also take care of the best possible solutions for recycling the batteries,” says Olaf Bongwald, CEO Valmet Automotive. “In Fortum we have found an excellent partner for this.”
According to Valmet, the Finnish energy company Fortum offers a “unique and low-CO2 process” to recycle up to 95 per cent of the metals in the black mass. The materials contained in the black mass, such as lithium, cobalt, manganese and nickel, will then be able to be reused for new batteries.
“We are proud to be working with Valmet Automotive, a leader in battery system manufacturing,” says Tero Holländer, Head of Business Line Batteries, Fortum. “This will enable us to recover raw materials from the battery production process in the most sustainable way, so that important metals can be returned to the battery value chain.”
In addition to recycling battery material from the two Finnish sites, the collaboration between Valmet Automotive and Fortum also includes waste management at the Uusikaupunki automotive plant. The battery factory is located on the site of the car plant.
Currently, the recycling agreement is limited to the two companies’ Finnish home market. However, according to the statement, they are exploring the possibility of expanding their cooperation to Valmet’s sites in Germany “to be closer to the major car manufacturers in the fast-developing EV sector”.
Valmet Automotive is currently building a battery systems plant in Germany, near Audi’s Neckarsulm plant. In addition, Valmet also operates two battery test centres in the state, which are also expected to produce recyclable battery material.
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