The expansion of Boliden Harjavalta includes a new concentrate dryer, increased capacity in the electric smelting furnace and granulation, as well as automated tapping of molten metal. This will enable an increase in the feed capacity from 310,000 to 370,000t/yr of raw material.
"We are now continuing on our nickel strategy that began in 2015. The investment strengthens our productivity and competitiveness while further improving our already very strong environmental performance," says Daniel Peltonen, president of the smelters business area. "The investment is also very well coordinated with the facility's maintenance needs."
The company said the expansion of the plant, which will start in 2021, will reduce Harjavalta's carbon dioxide intensity per tonne of nickel by 15-20%.
Boliden Harjavalta's nickel output reached 26,000t in 2019, while its operating profit was SEK746 million (US$86 million)
"Harjavalta is the largest nickel smelter within the European Union and is in a strong position to meet the growing demand for nickel from, among others, the battery manufacturing sector for the automotive industry," said the company.
Located in south-west Finland, close to Baltic Sea ports, Harjavalta already has among the lowest sulphur dioxide emissions per produced tonne of nickel compared to others around the world, according to the company's website.