The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and KfW IPEX-Bank are giving Poland’s electric vehicle (EV) industry a combined €135 million (approximately $159 million) boost, with a loan to global chemicals and sustainable technologies group Johnson Matthey for the construction of a new EV battery component plant.
Johnson Matthey will use the factory in Konin to produce cathode materials for EV batteries. The plant will become the world’s first production site of the company’s branded eLNO®, a portfolio of ultra-high energy density cathode battery materials expected to improve the performance of lithium ion batteries and help promote electric vehicle usage on a larger scale.
The production capacity in Konin will be 10,000 tonnes of eLNO® per year, enough for around 100,000 fully electric vehicles. In addition, the site, which will start production in 2022, has the potential to expand tenfold through further investment. Construction of the plant began this year.
Johnson Matthey aims to make the manufacturing of its products energy efficient by using automation technology and electricity from renewable sources. The group also plans to reduce emissions from battery production and has committed itself to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Battery Alliance.
The joint financing comprises a €90 million loan from the EBRD and a €45 million loan from KfW IPEX-Bank.
Grzegorz Zieliński, EBRD Regional Director Central Europe and Head of Poland, commented: “We are very pleased to finance this landmark project, which marks a big step forward in making electric cars not only an environmentally friendly, but also an increasingly competitive and attractive, alternative to traditional vehicles. We also welcome the creation of new jobs and expect further positive impact from the know-how transfer associated with this important investment.”
Christian Günther, Chief Executive, Battery Materials at Johnson Matthey, noted: “Construction of the new plant in Konin is a significant milestone in the commercialisation of our eLNO battery cathode materials. Supported by this funding, we plan to have eLNO in production on auto platforms by 2024, enabling the shift to electric vehicles and a cleaner, healthier world for us all.”