Environmental Impact Assessment of Terrafame’s battery chemicals plant completed 8.1.2019
The Kainuu ELY Centre (Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment) has just published its reasoned conclusion on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of Terrafame’s nickel and cobalt sulphate production, i.e. battery chemicals for electric vehicles. The EIA report and the reasoned conclusion are both part of the statutory EIA procedure that must be completed in the course of the battery chemicals plant’s environmental permitting process.
The reasoned conclusion includes, for example, a description of the project and its options as well as conclusions on the key environmental impacts of the proposed battery-grade chemicals production process. Reasoned conclusion was introduced by the new EIA Act that entered into force in 2017 as replacement for the coordinating authority’s statements on assessment reports.
All the introduced options deemed feasible
The Kainuu ELY Centre, which acts as the coordinating authority for the EIA procedure, concluded that the EIA report complies with the assessment programme and the coordinating authority’s opinion on the same, that the report is of sufficiently high quality and that it satisfies the content requirements laid down in the EIA Act. The coordinating authority did identify some omissions in respect of the information provided on the proposed plant’s uranium resources but did not consider these serious enough to prevent issuing a reasoned conclusion.
The Kainuu ELY Centre concluded that, based on the report, the options do not differ materially from each other in respect of their environmental impacts, and all the alternatives are therefore viable.
"We are happy with the conclusion of the battery chemicals plant’s Environmental Impact Assessment process”, says Terrafame’s Chief Sustainability Officer Veli-Matti Hilla.
“The environmental impacts of the new production process were studied extensively in the course of the EIA procedure. The key impacts identified include increased traffic volumes, the storage and processing of new production chemical, ammonia, and the management of the waste produced by the battery chemicals plant. All the options were also found to have significant positive impacts on regional economy both in Kainuu region and elsewhere in Finland.”
Now that the environmental impact assessment has been completed, the project can move on to the environmental permitting phase, which involves addressing any issues identified in the course of the assessment and in the coordinating authority’s reasoned conclusion. Terrafame expects to submit its environmental permit application for the nickel and cobalt sulphate production to the Northern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency in the next few months.
Veli-Matti Hilla, Chief Sustainability Officer, veli-matti.hilla(at)terrafame.fi
Previous articles on the topic:
Terrafame decides to invest in battery chemicals plant (25 Oct 2018)
The battery chemicals plant would bring significant positive economic impacts to Kainuu and elsewhere in Finland (18 Oct 2018)
EIA report on battery chemicals production now available – A public event will be held in Vuokatti on 31 October 2018 (18 Oct 2018)
Sotkamo municipality grants building permit for battery chemicals plant (6 Jul 2018)
Terrafame Ltd is a Finnish multi-metal company producing nickel, zinc, cobalt and copper at its mine and metals production plant located in Sotkamo, Finland. We are now planning the processing of our main product, nickel-cobalt sulphide, into nickel and cobalt sulphates suitable for electric vehicle batteries. Our aim is to conduct environmentally sustainable, safe and profitable operations. www.terrafame.com