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Green transition: Easpring Finland’s proposal for cathode active material plant in Kotka

Easpring Finland New Materials Oy, a joint venture between Finnish Minerals Group and Beijing Easpring Material Technology Co., Ltd., has recently applied for an environmental permit for a cathode active material (CAM) plant in Kotka. They’ve requested expedited processing under the priority procedure for green transition projects.

Initial estimates suggest the plant will produce an average of 60,000 tonnes of nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathode material annually. The proposed location is a 27.8-hectare industrial site in Kotka’s Keltakallio area, about eight kilometers from the city center. The local plan and modified local plan for the industrial area were implemented in 2021, with 80 hectares reserved for potential future plant expansion.

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The environmental impacts primarily concern land use and traffic. However, the plant’s processes won’t discharge wastewater directly into water systems; instead, they’ll purify effluents on-site before sending them to Kymen Vesi Oy’s wastewater treatment plant. Raw materials and products will be stored indoors, with excess heat potentially utilized in Kotka’s district heating network.

Despite not being located in a groundwater or flood risk area, the project emphasizes managing runoff water during construction and operation. The focus remains on low-carbon solutions, energy efficiency, and environmental protection, with plans to employ modern technology and equipment.

The CAM plant aims to produce cathode active material crucial for lithium-ion battery manufacturing, supporting Europe’s electrification efforts. This sector is new in Finland, promising transparent and sustainable raw materials production. The project anticipates generating approximately EUR 200 million in new GDP and EUR 90 million in tax revenue annually, with around 300 direct jobs and significant economic impact during construction.

Moving forward, the permit application will undergo review and public notice, followed by a hearing phase for input from authorities and stakeholders.

Easpring Finland New Materials Oy will spearhead the project, with a 70% stake held by Beijing Easpring Material Technology Co., Ltd., and 30% by Finnish Minerals Group. Their shared vision aims to accelerate Europe’s green transition through advanced battery material production, contributing to job creation and economic growth in the Kymenlaakso region and Finland as a whole.

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