Fortum Battery Recycling Unveils Expansion Plans for New Hub in Germany


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Fortum Battery Recycling is currently assessing the feasibility of establishing a production facility for sustainable secondary battery materials in Artern, Thuringia, Germany’s industrial area. This new hub, focused on black mass, will mark Fortum Battery Recycling’s second expansion in Central Europe, showcasing the company’s strong growth trajectory. In March, Fortum Battery Recycling commenced its initial commercial operations in Kirchardt, Germany, with the inauguration of its first mechanical processing plant. Additionally, in April, the company initiated operations at a hydrometallurgical facility in Harjavalta, Finland, which stands today as Europe’s largest closed-loop recycling facility.

Tero Holländer, Head of Business Line, Batteries at Fortum Battery Recycling, expressed their aspiration to become a notable supplier of sustainable recycled raw materials for the European battery value chain. To enhance proximity to their central-European customers, they have identified significant potential in the Artern region. As a result, discussions have commenced with local authorities regarding a development plan for the production of black mass.

Situated in the heart of Germany, the industrial area of Artern/Thuringia enjoys close proximity to key battery and automobile companies. Recognizing this advantageous location, regional authorities and stakeholders have swiftly and professionally engaged in initial discussions, facilitating the planning process for the settlement.

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Thuringia, as one of the few German federal states, has set its sights on covering the entire value chain, spanning from fundamental and applied research to the production of both mobile and stationary batteries, as well as recycling. Wolfgang Tiefensee, Thuringia’s Minister for Economic Affairs, warmly welcomes the proposed development and affirms the state’s full support for the project. He expresses satisfaction that Fortum’s investment endeavor has progressed from initial contact in April 2022 to now taking concrete shape.

According to Tiefensee, Thuringia serves as a significant battery hub in Germany, rendering recycling technologies and investments in this sector highly appealing. Fortum, with its extensive expertise in extracting valuable rare metals from automotive and industrial batteries, brings valuable capabilities to the region. Tiefensee emphasizes that the recycling stage of the battery life cycle is a crucial element for the successful green transformation of the economy and society.

Torsten Blümel, Mayor of Artern, expresses contentment with the progress made in the discussions regarding potential development plans with Fortum Battery Recycling. He enthusiastically states that the city of Artern would warmly embrace the anticipated creation of approximately 70 new jobs that Fortum Battery Recycling’s site could bring to the region.

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Fortum Battery Recycling operates on an industrial scale, encompassing all essential treatment and production stages to achieve optimal recycling rates and establish a closed loop for battery recycling across Europe’s entire value chain. Their operations span pre-treatment services in Kirchardt, Germany, mechanical processing in Ikaalinen, and hydrometallurgical metal recovery in Harjavalta, Finland. These strategic locations enable Fortum Battery Recycling to meet the increasing demand for recycled battery materials from battery manufacturers. The company’s expansion plans in central Europe will further support their commitment to fulfilling this growing need.

According to Tero Holländer, Fortum Battery Recycling is experiencing robust growth and has set ambitious targets for the future. By 2030, the company aims to expand its recycling capacity to handle over 200,000 tonnes of battery waste. Additionally, they have plans to establish two additional hydrometallurgical facilities in Europe, along with approximately seven mechanical units dedicated to producing black mass for the hydrometallurgical sites. Through these initiatives, Fortum Battery Recycling intends to contribute to the overall goal of enabling the entire industry to manufacture more sustainable batteries in Europe.

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