Two leading European banks are supporting the electric car industry by providing a 135 million euros loan for a new plant in central Poland run by global chemicals and sustainable technologies group Johnson Matthey. The joint financing comprises a 90 million euros loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a 45 million euros loan from KfW IPEX-Bank, export and project financier in Germany and Europe.
The investment will help to promote EV usage on a larger scale by producing innovative materials for electric car batteries. The plant will become the world’s first production site of Johnson Matthey’s eLNO, a portfolio of ultra-high energy density next-generation cathode battery materials, which is expected to significantly improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries.
The construction works start this year and the facility will start production in 2022 when its output will reach 10,000 tonnes of eLNO per year, enough to power around 100,000 fully electric vehicles. In addition, the site has the potential to expand tenfold through further investment.
“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,” commented Grzegorz Zieliński, EBRD’s Regional Director Central Europe and Head of Poland. “We also welcome the creation of new jobs and expect a further positive impact from the know-how transfer associated with this important investment.”
According to Christian Günther, Chief Executive of Battery Materials at Johnson Matthey the construction of the new plant in Konin is a significant milestone in the commercialisation of the eLNO battery cathode materials. Supported by this funding, John Matthey plans to have eLNO in production on auto platforms by 2024, enabling the shift to electric vehicles.
Poland’s Minister of Climate Michał Kurtyka stated earlier that the quick introduction of electric vehicles is a great opportunity to drive economic growth and give a strong impetus to reduce the carbon footprint of the transport sector. Poland is, in fact, one of the leading manufacturers of batteries for electric vehicles, including buses, as well as one of the main manufacturers of vehicle spare parts in the EU. The country also has well-qualified personnel, distribution networks, experience in supporting new investors and an attractive location in the middle of the global supply chains.