German chemical giant BASF received a conditional environmental approval for its planned battery component plant in Finland’s Harjavalta, the region’s watchdog said last week.
The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) of Southwest Finland issued its opinion on the project’s extended environmental impact assessment (EIA) report submitted by BASF in March.
“The Designated Body believes that if the needs for additional and extended information for assessing the impact of the Battery Components Plant, specified in the updated Reasoned Statement, are taken into account at the stage of obtaining an environmental permit, the plant can be put into operation,” the statement says.
BASF submitted its first EIA report on the project in December 2018 and subsequently received a permit, which, however, was annulled by a Finnish court last summer. BASF then made significant changes to the project to address negative impacts, including the release of sulfates from process effluents, and submitted the updated EIA report in March.
The plant, which will produce battery materials serving the European automotive market, was built adjacent to the nickel and cobalt refinery owned by Russia’s Nornickel. In late 2018, the two companies signed a long-term, market-based supply agreement for nickel and cobalt feedstock from Nornickel’s metal refinery, thus giving BASF a locally sourced and secure supply of raw materials for battery components.