Boliden plans to invest EUR 40 million (US$ 47.4 million) in an expansion of its nickel operations at the Harjavalta smelter. The investment will mainly be implemented in 2021. The expansion investment will increase the feed capacity from 310,000 metric tons per year (mt/y) to 370,000 mt/y of raw material. The expansion consists of a new concentrate dryer, increased capacity in the electric smelting furnace and granulation, as well as automated tapping of molten metal.

“We are now continuing on our nickel strategy that began in 2015,” President of Business Area Smelters Daniel Peltonen said. “The investment strengthens our productivity and competitiveness while further improving our already very strong environmental performance.

“The investment is also very well coordinated with the facility’s maintenance needs.”

Boliden also said the investment would decrease Harjavalta’s carbon dioxide intensity by 15%-20% per ton of nickel produced. It is the largest nickel smelter in 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, the company said.