Fortum to open battery recycling hub in Germany


Fortum Battery Recycling is planning a new recycling hub in Germany. The company says it is looking into setting up a “production facility for sustainable secondary battery materials” in the industrial area of Artern in Thuringia.

Fortum Battery Recycling confirmed the news in a press release, but does not give any details about the planned size of the plant. What is clear, however, is that the mechanical processing of spent batteries and production rejects will take place at the site of Fortum’s first German recycling plant in Kirchardt in the state of Baden-Württemberg, where commercial operations have been running since April this year. In this process, the so-called black mass is produced.

“We see great potential in the Artern region and have already started talks with the local authorities about a development plan for the production of black mass,” says Tero Holländer, Head of Business Line Batteries at Fortum Battery Recycling. However, the further processing of the black mass into the individual battery raw materials will not take place in Germany for the time being. Fortum commissioned such a hydrometallurgical processing plant in Harjavalta, Finland, in April. According to Fortum, this is now Europe’s largest recycling plant for electric car batteries with a closed cycle. According to Holländer, there are plans to open two more hydrometallurgical plants in Europe by 2030, as well as about seven mechanical recycling plants for the production of black mass.

In the statement, Fortum praises the location and the interest from the region in their press release: “The industrial area of Artern/Thuringia is located in the middle of Germany, with short distances to the central battery and automobile companies. The regional authorities and stakeholders have been swift and highly professional in the initial talks paving the way for the planning of the settlement.” Artern is located east of Leipzig, but is also very well connected to the greater Erfurt area via the A71 motorway – as is well known, CATL’s first European plant is located in Arnstadt south of Erfurt.

The first contact with representatives of the federal state apparently took place as early as April 2022. Thuringia’s Minister of Economic Affairs Wolfgang Tiefensee welcomes the plans and pledges the state’s support for the planned settlement – even if no final investment decision has been made yet. “Thuringia is a major hub for batteries in Germany, which makes recycling technologies and investments in this sector very attractive to us,” the SPD politician said, according to the company’s statement. “Fortum brings considerable expertise in the recovery of valuable rare metals from automotive and industrial batteries to the area. This final step in the life cycle of batteries is an important prerequisite for the success of the green transformation of the economy and society.”

Support for the project also comes from regional politics. “We are discussing the potential development plans with Fortum Battery Recycling and are pleased with how the planning advances. The city of Artern would gladly welcome the estimated 70 new jobs that Fortum Battery Recycling’s site could generate at the region,” says Torsten Blümel, Mayor of Artern.

With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.


about „Fortum to open battery recycling hub in Germany“

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *