Wednesday, 21st of September, Belgian circular materials technology company Umicore inaugurated its carbon-neutral production facility for cathode-active materials for electric vehicles in Nysa, in the south of Poland. It will be Europe’s first ‘gigafactory’ with a complete circular and sustainable battery materials value chain.
The gigafactory will supply battery materials to Umicore’s car and battery cell customers in Europe and marks an important step in achieving the European Union’s ambition of having its own battery ecosystem that is both sustainable and competitive on a global scale.
In the meantime, Umicore has already signed a contract with ACC, the battery consortium of Total Energies, Mercedes-Benz, and Stellantis (representing brands like Peugeot, Opel, and Fiat, among others). Earlier, the global materials technology and recycling group created a joint venture with the Volkswagen Group (VW, Audi, Skoda, and Porsche).
Nysa’s annual production capacity is set to reach 20 GWh by the end of 2023 and 40 GWh in 2024, with the potential to rise to over 200 GWh, or 3 million electric vehicles, in the second half of the decade.
Responsible and sustainable value chain
The plant is fully powered by renewable electricity from a nearby onshore wind farm, enabling Umicore’s carbon-neutral growth ambitions. Construction of the plant began in 2019, and production started in July this year.
Today’s inauguration of the new plant took place two years after its announcement. The plant was expected to be operational ‘by the end of 2020’, but the timing was too optimistic. Currently, Umicore in Nysa employs about 240 people. Their number is expected to increase to 400 by the end of 2023, along with the plant’s future capacity expansion.
Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore: “With this gigafactory, Umicore is leading the way in battery materials in Europe, offering key ingredients for a responsible and sustainable value chain for electric transport.” […] “The new factory will be a true enabler and accelerator of the e-mobility transformation across the European Union.”