Nickel is the top category of Russian imports into Finland in March 2022 | Finland Today | English News

Finland’s imports from Russia were € 1 billion, up 63% from March 2021 due to soaring prices.

The most notable increase in imports was nickel and nickel products. Their value increased by € 175.2 million, or 456 percent, year-over-year. In terms of quantity, imports of nickel and nickel products increased significantly, according to data from Finnish customs.

Russian metal suppliers are maintaining plans to increase investment in Finnish refineries in Harjabalta, Norilsk production director Sergey Stepanov said earlier.

“The company plans to carry out a capacity expansion project at the Nornickel Harjavalta refinery in Finland. This project is designed to produce materials for batteries in Europe. The capacity expansion project for Harjavalta is still underway. We will be short of nickel in Europe in the next few years and would like to do it. So far, all the work on this project is on schedule, “Stepanov said in an interview with Interfax.

The Finnish expansion project announced last year plans to increase capacity from the current 65,000 tonnes to more than 100,000 tonnes annually by early 2026 as demand for high capacity batteries grows in the EU. The final investment decision for the Harjavalta extension is scheduled for this year.

The Russian company is also considering plans to start mining another major battery component, lithium.

On April 25, Nornickel announced its intention to establish a joint venture with Rosatom to develop the Kolmozerskoye lithium deposit in the Murmansk region (which borders Finland) and to deepen the lithium raw material.

The Kolmozerskoye deposit is the largest in Russia (18.9% of Russia’s lithium resources). The Nornickel-Rosatom joint venture will participate in a license auction to develop deposits. An auction is scheduled for this year.

Sergei Stepanov, Senior Vice President and Production Director at Norilsk, said:

“In this regard, Nornickel and Rosatom have decided to combine their capabilities within the framework of the Kolmozerskoye deposit development project. Today, they have signed an agreement and prepared a preliminary technical document for the project.” He continued.

The new lithium deposit is close to the Finnish border and Norilsk plans to work with German chemical giant BASF.

Earlier, Norilsk Nickel signed an intention to establish a battery recycling cluster in Harjavalta, Finland, to partner with Finnish energy companies Fortum and BASF to serve the electric vehicle market.

This successfully completes the “closed loop” recycling cycle of the critical metal contained in the used battery. Nickel is the top category of Russian imports into Finland in March 2022 | Finland Today | English News

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