Nickel and Cobalt are Essential Materials for Electric Vehicle Industry

Photo: Johanna Sjövall

The world-leading nickel production company Nornickel is a link in the electric vehicle value chain.

Large freight trains travel between Russia and Harjavalta, transporting materials to Nornickel’s plant in Harjavalta, Finland. The plant refines raw materials, i.e. nickel matte, into ready nickel products. The plant’s CEO Joni Hautojärvi is pleased with how the plant’s production has grown 40 per cent in recent years.

– Electric vehicles are one of the reasons for our significant growth. In addition to nickel metal products, our plant also produces nickel and cobalt chemicals, which are used in the battery industry. The chemicals are used, for example, in electric car batteries, Hautojärvi explains.

Nornickel Harjavalta is one of the world’s leading nickel chemical producers in the battery industry, and their future looks bright. Globally, around 75 million cars are manufactured annually, and the share of electric cars will continue to grow. One electric car battery requires around 50 kilograms of nickel.

– The goal is for 30 per cent of new cars in Europe to be electric by 2030. This means that the demand for nickel will increase manyfold. According to calculations, the demand for nickel will increase by 30 per cent while demand for cobalt may even double, Hautojärvi says.


Joni Hautojärvi has another reason to be pleased. The Harjavalta plant has made significant efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

– While our production has grown, we have also managed to reduce the plant’s fossil carbon dioxide emissions by half. We now have the smallest carbon footprint of all nickel plants, and we will continue our efforts to reduce the amount of emissions and our carbon footprint even further.

The most notable factor in reducing emissions has been large investments. Nornickel Harjavalta has invested in a new biosteam plant together with Suomen Teollisuuden Energiapalvelut – STEP Oy.

– We have made investments in order to be able to use renewable energy. In addition, we have started using liquefied natural gas. It is a remarkable synergy benefit for Satakunta. Others will also be able to enjoy the benefits of the investments in the future. We, however, are constantly undertaking new projects. For instance, the growth in demand for electric cars will most likely bring significant investments to Harjavalta.


Industry: Nickel production
Primary market area: Europe (45% of exports)
Turnover: 742 million euros (year 2017)
Staff: 280

Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta Oy

Address: Teollisuuskatu 1, 29200 HARJAVALTA
Telephone: +358 (0)2 537 11
Fax: +358 (0)2 5371 2250

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Photo: Teollisuuden Voima Oyj