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Enhancement of Battery industry value chain in GigaVaasa area – planning reservation for cathode material factory plot with FREYR Battery

Published: 12.1.2023

FREYR Battery has made a planning reservation on a plot in the GigaVaasa area for the construction of a cathode materials factory. Plot 16, which became vacant after Johnson Matthey sold off their battery materials business, has now been reserved for the factory.

– The cathode materials factory will further enhance the battery industry ecosystem being built in the GigaVaasa area, so FREYR Battery’s memorandum of understanding and goal to build both a battery cell and cathode materials factory in the area is really great news, explains Vaasa Mayor Tomas Häyry happily.

The planning reservation was approved at the Vaasa City Board meeting on 7 November 2022. Plot 16, which has been reserved by the company, is approximately 51 hectares in size.

Local cathode production is a significant thing from an environmental perspective. In the current battery value chain, the materials needed by batteries are transported globally from different continents (Australia, South America, Asia), which increases both costs, risks and emissions.

An environmental impact assessment (EIA) process now starts by submitting the program to the South Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre).

GigaVaasa Area Timeline:

  • January 2023: FREYR Battery’s environmental impact assessment of the cathode factory plot progressing
  • November 2022: FREYR Battery made a planning reservation on a plot to build a cathode factory.
  • October 2022: Finnish Minerals Group and Epsilon Advanced Materials sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) under which the companies will evaluate the possibility of setting up an anode materials production facility in Vaasa.
  • September 2022: The memorandum of understanding with Grafintec Oy and Epsilon Advanced Materials was formally terminated as cooperation between the companies had ended and new negotiations on the plot in question could start.
  • August 2022: Grafintec Oy and Epsilon Advanced Materials dissolve their mutual cooperation agreement. They continue discussions with the City of Vaasa
  • May 2022: FREYR Battery and the City of Vaasa enter into a fixed-term lease agreement for a 130-hectare plot.
  • January 2022: FREYR Battery’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) commences.
  • January 2022: Grafintec Oy and Epsilon Advanced Materials sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Vaasa to build a plant to produce anode materials for the battery industry in the GigaVaasa area.
  • November 2021: Johnson Matthey announces the sale of its battery materials business. However, Vaasa continues negotiations with the company’s new owner.
  • August 2021: FREYR Battery selects Vaasa as the location of a battery cell plant; a memorandum of understanding is signed for a 90-hectare plot.
  • April 2021: First reservation for the GigaVaasa area; Johnson Matthey selects Vaasa as the location for a sustainable battery materials plant.