The market, technology and regulatory trends all point towards one direction: the growth of electric transportation and particularly the ongoing transformation of the automotive industry are set to explode the demand for batteries in Europe.
As Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for the EU’s Energy Union recently stressed at the Industry Days Forum, there is an urgent need to create competitive and sustainable battery cell manufacturing in Europe, supported by a full EU-based value chain. The European battery market could be worth EUR 250 billion by 2025 and long-term dependence on batteries made in Asia is not a viable strategic option. The EU Battery Alliance is calling for 10-20 giga battery factories to be established in Europe in the near future.
There is no doubt about the seriousness of the need, so the next pressing issue is where could these large-scale battery manufacturing facilities be located? I’m happy to help with the solution: the cure for Europe’s battery anxiety is of course found in Finland.
Finland expands nickel and cobalt production
For a start, Finland is already up and running with the production of the critical raw materials and high-quality chemicals required by battery factories. Finland is in fact the only country with cobalt mining in Western Europe and Freeport Cobalt, located in Kokkola, Western Finland, supplies 20% of the global demand for the cobalt chemicals needed in lithium-ion batteries.
Finland is also increasing its production capacity to meet growing European demand. The Finnish multi-metal company Terrafame Ltd. aims to become one of the largest nickel sulphate producers globally when it opens a new plant in Sotkamo, Northern Finland. Meanwhile, Keliber Oy in Western Finland expects to start battery grade lithium production in 2020 along with a lithium refining unit in Kokkola.
As a ready source of sustainably produced raw materials, Finland is an ideal location for battery component and battery cell manufacturing. This also happens to be the world’s most stable country, with excellent sea and railway logistics, and one of the lowest electricity prices in Europe.
Expertise across the battery value chain
When it comes to battery business location factors, Finland can also provide much more than just natural resources. Finnish companies offer competitive concepts and know-how across the battery production value chain, with world-class expertise in chemistry, processing, engineering and energy. Finland is known for its tech expertise, highly educated workforce, reliable infrastructure and for taking a leading role in areas like the digital transformation, sustainability and bioeconomy.
While the shift to electric cars is the major factor accelerating battery production in Europe, electrification also impacts on many other forms of transport as well as industrial machinery. As one of the most innovative countries in the world, Finland is a great place for testing and piloting the different types electric and electrified vehicles and machines that will be running on battery power in the near future.
Explore what Finland can offer
It is the combination of all these factors that creates a uniquely strong platform for the development and growth of battery production in Finland. Here at Invest in Finland, we provide comprehensive information and support for international companies interested in finding out more about Finland as a prime location for battery manufacturing. Together we can turn the EU’s giga factory visions into reality.
About the author:
Vesa Koivisto is the Head of Industry for Cleantech & Bioeconomy at Invest in Finland. Vesa is a seasoned professional with 20+ years of leadership experience in international energy and chemicals industries. He is particularly interested in new technologies and solutions enabling the transformation of energy sector to more sustainable future.