Fortum Battery Recycling has launched Europe’s largest closed-loop hydrometallurgical battery recycling facility in Harjavalta, Finland. The facility is the first commercial-scale operation of its kind in Europe, addressing the increasing demand for sustainable battery materials from European manufacturers and reducing dependence on imported critical battery raw materials. Using cutting-edge technology, the plant can recover 95% of valuable and critical metals from battery’s mass and return them to the production cycle for new lithium-ion battery chemicals.
Meeting the rising demand for recycled battery materials
Fortum’s new Harjavalta facility will play a vital role in meeting the growing demand for recycled battery materials in the coming years. The European Union’s sustainable batteries regulation requires battery, electronics, and automotive manufacturers to gradually increase the amount of recycled materials in their batteries, with the first minimum recovery levels for materials such as cobalt, nickel, and lithium coming into force in 2026.
Investing in recycling technology and capacity at an early stage, Fortum Battery Recycling is well-prepared to meet this demand. Tero Holländer, Head of Business Line, Batteries, Fortum Battery Recycling, states, “We are proud to be the forerunners investing in sustainable solutions for the future”.
Efficient recycling process
Fortum’s recycling process recovers critical metals from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries and battery production waste, producing secondary metals for new lithium-ion batteries on an industrial scale. The Harjavalta plant is already producing nickel and cobalt sulphates that meet customer specifications, ensuring high quality and sustainability throughout the supply chain.
Designed with the highest safety standards for people and the environment, the facility maintains a low carbon footprint in its operations and maximises efficiency in recycling. Combining Fortum’s mechanical and hydrometallurgical processes, 80% of a battery can be recycled.
Expanding operations in Europe
Fortum Battery Recycling’s operations encompass all necessary treatment and production steps to achieve the highest recycling rates and provide a closed loop for battery recycling throughout the entire European value chain. This includes pre-treatment services in Kirchardt, Germany, mechanical process in Ikaalinen, and hydrometallurgical metal recovery in Harjavalta.
The company has also started EV battery recycling operations in Kirchardt, Germany, with a hub capable of pre-treating over 3,000 tonnes of batteries per year. This strategic expansion brings Fortum’s superior battery recycling technology closer to the heart of the European automotive market, offering closed-loop services for the battery and automotive sector in central Europe.
Future plans and industry impact
As e-mobility grows, so does the demand for batteries and critical raw materials. Recycling is essential for meeting this demand and driving decarbonisation. To address the challenges of the industry, Fortum Battery Recycling is continuously exploring possibilities to expand operations to other European regions.
Fortum Battery Recycling is part of a Nordic energy company with around 5,000 employees and a commitment to providing clean energy, sustainability, and decarbonisation solutions. With its state-of-the-art recycling facilities and continuous expansion plans, Fortum Battery Recycling is set to have a significant impact on the future of battery recycling and sustainable materials production in Europe.