EU funds battery projects by Freyr, Vianode, Stora Enso and BASF
The European Commission is funding 41 clean-tech projects with more than 3.6 billion euros – including several battery projects. According to the list of selected projects, BASF is planning a battery recycling plant in Tarragona, Spain, which has yet to be officially announced.
The 41 clean-tech projects are spread across 15 member states and are subsidised through the EU Innovation Fund. The projects cover many areas, including the battery sector for electric vehicles. According to the Commission, all 41 projects will be operational before 2030 and “have the potential to avoid 221 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in the first ten years of operation.”
The projects were selected following the third call for funding for large-scale projects covering four topics: general decarbonisation, industry electrification and hydrogen, clean tech manufacturing, and mid-sized pilots. In addition to the 41 projects now made public, the Commission says that “other promising but insufficiently mature projects will receive project development assistance from the European Investment Bank.” These will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2023. The fourth funding call with a budget of 4 billion euros is also planned at that time.
Current emobility-related funding recipients include Freyr, Vianode, Stora Enso and BASF. Freyr, for example, will receive 100 million euros from the EU to build its Giga Arctic battery cell factory in Norway. Vianode’s planned factory for graphite-based anode materials, which the EU will subsidise with 90 million euros, will also be located in Norway. Both companies name the subsidy amounts in their press releases. The EU Commission’s list does not show how the 3.6 billion euros are distributed among the 41 projects.
Thus, it remains to be seen how high the subsidy for Stora Enso and BASF will be. The EU supports Stora Enso to build “a commercial scale plant” called Lignode One to produce sustainable bio-based anode material for batteries in Finland. Stora Enso’s “Lignode” technology uses, among other things, lignin-based hard coal from Nordic forest wood. A development cooperation exists with Northvolt, among others.
BASF, meanwhile, will receive funds from the EU to construct a battery recycling plant in Tarragona, Spain, which has yet to be officially announced. According to a brief description in the funding list, this will be the “first industrial deployment of an innovative recycling plant for battery materials based on an innovative pyrolysis for black mass and an innovative hydrometallurgical refining process.” The process technology allows “very high Li recovery rates.”
According to the EU Commission, the 41 projects were selected from 239 applications. About 196 were approved for evaluation as “eligible.” Independent experts then made the final selection based on five award criteria. Decisive factors were the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional technologies, the degree of innovation, operational, financial and technical maturity, scalability and cost-effectiveness.