Northvolt places nickel order with Vale Canada

The Swedish battery cell manufacturer Northvolt has concluded a multi-year agreement with the mining company Vale Canada for the supply of low-carbon nickel products.

Vale did not provide more details about the delivery volume and the time schedule in its announcement, but it does announce further cooperation with Northvolt in various areas. The areas in question are not clearly specified, however.

In view of Northvolt’s goals, further cooperation in the areas of CO2 savings along the process chain or recycling seems possible. Northvolt wants to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90 per cent compared to today’s “benchmark batteries”.

In the announcement, Vale describes itself as a “world-leading manufacturer of low-carbon and high-purity nickel products”. Specifically, the company states that products from the Long Harbor refinery in Newfoundland, Canada, come to a CO2 equivalent of 4.4 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of nickel. This is “about a third of the Nickel Institute average for Class 1 nickel”. With billions of dollars of investment, Vale aims to reduce its absolute CO2 emissions by up to 33 per cent by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“This supply agreement is another strategic milestone as we pivot our business towards electric vehicle demand,” said Deshnee Naidoo, Vale’s executive vice president of base metals. “We’re excited to build a lasting relationship with Northvolt that raises the bar on sustainably sourced raw materials for this fast-growing sector.”

Maria Åstrand, Vice President Active Materials at Northvolt, added: “We want to build batteries with a minimal CO2 footprint using clean energy and smart technology. This partnership is perfect for us to be able to reach that ambition.”

Åstrand hints at what some of the further collaboration might be about: “We are further excited by the prospect of closing the loop with the electrification of the nickel mining industry through our mutual partners that provides electric mining equipment.” As reported, Northvolt supplies batteries to the Swedish manufacturer Epiroc, which specialises in underground technology, among others.


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