Fortum starts up battery recycling plant in Germany

The Finnish energy company Fortum has started recycling traction batteries from electric vehicles in Germany. The recycling plant in Finland is also scheduled to start commercial operation in a few weeks.

In Germany, Fortum’s local recycling subsidiary Fortum Battery Recycling has received environmental approval under the Federal Immission Control Act. It will now recycle traction batteries from electric vehicles in Kirchardt (Baden-Württemberg) in southern Germany.

The newly opened recycling centre in Kirchardt is already operational and can receive and process batteries or production rejects. The site can handle more than 3,000 tons of batteries per year. Fortum Battery Recycling uses a combi­nation of mechanical and hydromet­al­lur­gical technologies to recycle the battery materials. According to the company, “95 per cent of the valuable metals from the battery’s black mass can be recovered. ”

The German plant will be linked to Fortum’s hydrometallurgical recycling plant in Harjavalta, Finland, which is scheduled to begin commercial operation in a few weeks. There, the black mass obtained in Germany will be processed, and the individual battery raw materials will be chemically separated. The resulting raw materials can be fed back into the battery value chain.

“We are excited to start our operations in Germany and to bring our superior battery recycling technology to the heart of the European automotive market,” said Tero Holländer, Head of Business Line, Batteries at Fortum Battery Recycling, adding: “Our new central European recycling operations give local manufacturers a unique opportunity to connect to the fast-growing Finnish sustainable battery raw materials cluster.” Frank Stumpf, Operations Director, Fortum Battery Recycling, further explained: “Our operations cover all the necessary handling and production steps for the highest recycling rates: pre-treatment services, black mass production and hydrometallurgical recovery of metals.”

Fortum Battery Recycling is also looking at further expansion opportunities in other European regions. However, the company is keeping those plans under wraps for now.


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