2021-04-19 18:50News

19 April, 2021

Mundus Nordic Green News

British chemical giant Johnson Matthey to build battery manufacturing facility in Finland

British chemical giant Johnson Matthey plans to manufacture 30,000 tonnes a year of cathode material in Vaasa on the west coast of Finland. The plant will be powered by renewable energy, and use responsibly sourced nickel, cobalt and lithium raw materials – with the cobalt coming from the Terafame mine in Finland. Johnson Matthey has begun planning the initial stage of the construction of a factory, the cost of which is forecast to be hundreds of millions of Euros, and which it hopes to commission in 2024.

The City of Vaasa and Johnson Matthey have signed a joint letter of intent, and Johnson Matthey has also formed a partnership with Finnish Minerals Group, which manages the Finnish state’s mining industry shareholdings and develops the Finnish value chain for lithium-ion batteries.

According to Finland’s Minister of Trade and Industry Mika Lintilä, Johnson Matthey's decision to plan investments in the production of battery materials in Vaasa fits with the national battery strategy. Our goal is to become an internationally significant player in the battery and electrification sector, taking into account sustainability and circular economy. The decision also shows that Finland can offer an attractive environment for new investments and expansion of existing businesses. Lintilä continued, “Of course, that total value of the investment speaks for itself in how important it is. The next goal, of course, is to get a full battery factory here, but the decision will be made by the operator.” (Johnson Matthey, STT Info, Talouselämä)

€7 billion CIP fund oversubscribed

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, in which Vestas owns 25%, has closed its Copenhagen Infrastructure IV (CI IV) fund after commitments hit the ceiling of €7 billion. CI IV achieved commitments from investors across the Nordics, Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia with a 50/50 split between existing investors in CIP funds and new investors. The fund’s investor base comprises approximately 100 institutional investors, primarily pension funds, life insurance companies, and family offices. (press release)

Swedish mega-projects attracting international financial interest

With their access to raw materials and renewable energy, the Norrbotten and Västerbotten counties in Sweden's far north have managed to attract Northvolt's battery factory outside Skellefteå and H2 Green Steel's production facility for fossil-free steel outside Boden. These two projects alone are expected to involve investments of approximately SEK 65 billion by 2024/2025, and together with the restructuring plans that exist in the mining industry - including state-owned LKAB - there are hopes of being able to take Swedish base industry into the future through what described as a green neo-industrialization of Norrbotten and Västerbotten. 

But, according to Sweden’s Dagens Industri, although Sweden’s entrepreneurs are leading in the development of the massive industrial boom going on in Sweden’s north, it is largely financed by foreigners. Whereas the celebrity of trophy Swedish investors such as Daniel Ek (Spotify) and Cristina Stenbeck (Kinnevik) is linked to the projects, in reality they own less than 1.3% of Northvolt and 2.0% of H2 Green steel. And in reality, 37% of Northvolt is owned by VW and Goldman Sachs, and in total 64% is owned by foreigners.

According to one Swedish investor "It is a scandal that only AMF and Folksam are part of Northvolt. Where are the AP [state pension] funds? … Swedish capital is controlled to such an extent by white-collar workers that they are most afraid of losing money in a project like this - there is no willingness to take risks." (Dagens Industri)

Alfa Laval tests methanol fuel cell systems for sustainable marine power supply

Alfa Laval will test an innovative marine fuel cell system in collaboration with Blue World Technologies and a number of major players in the marine industry. The tests, which will be carried out at Alfa Laval's Test & Training Center in Denmark, will use methanol as a fuel and explore the potential of the technology as a source of marine fossil-free auxiliary engine systems. (Svensk Verkstad)

What we’re reading
  • The bumps ahead for Joe Biden’s plan to decarbonise America (The Economist)
  • Ipsos Perils of Perception: climate change (Ipsos)


About Nordic Green News

The Nordic countries are some of the most dynamic and successful economies in the world. They are also leaders in sustainability, from renewable energy, biofuels, carbon capture and storage and the hydrogen economy, circular economy business models and battery development, the Nordics are pioneers in policy design, technology development and consumer uptake. Mundus Nordic Green News is covering this transition for the international community. Every day we clip the stories of most relevance to international businesspeople and policy experts from the flow of news. We supplement these with our own opinion pieces and commentary, in English.