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IONWAY – the PowerCo/Umicore JV –to locate its first production plant in Nysa, Poland

Press Release

7 October 2023 – 10:30 CEST 

      • Umicore and PowerCo – backed joint venture IONWAY – scales up EU footprint in the e-mobility business
      • IONWAY creates 900 industry jobs in Poland to produce cathode active material (CAM) for EVs, the most valuable battery asset
      • First production site will run on renewable energy with a view to carbon-neutral production
      • Strong contribution to swift mobility transition and EU Green Deal through regional, sustainable and transparent battery supply chains
      • Strategic support from the Polish government under the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework

      The newly founded Brussels-based European EV battery materials producer IONWAY has chosen to build its first CAM production plant in Nysa, Poland, adjacent to Umicore’s existing CAM plant. The JV, backed by Umicore and Volkswagen Group-owned PowerCo, is scaling up the EU footprint in the e-mobility business with the ambition to grow its annual production capacity to 160 GWh by the end of the decade, corresponding to 2.2 million battery-electric vehicles, based on market developments. IONWAY will thus help the European Union achieve its Green Deal ambitions by accelerating the establishment of regional, sustainable, and transparent battery value chains.

      “We are excited with today’s announcement, as it marks the operational first step of IONWAY and an important step in the expansion of Umicore’s European local-for-local integrated battery materials value chain.”

      Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore

      “IONWAY gives both PowerCo and Umicore a significant first-mover advantage in the fast-growing e-mobility market in Europe. PowerCo has now co-created what it was looking for: a battery materials supplier to secure and build-up manufacturing capacity for reliable and cost-competitive precursor and cathode material production based on responsibly sourced raw materials.”

      Jörg Teichmann, CPO of PowerCo

      The Polish government strongly supports the investment in Nysa – which is expected to create about 900 future-proof industry jobs in Nysa towards the end of the decade – and is offering IONWAY € 350 million in cash grants under the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework for a total investment of up to € 1.7 billion (€ 1.35 billion after grants) by the end of the decade1.

      We are thankful for the Polish government’s support in IONWAY’s choice for Nysa. The strategic location of the joint venture’s battery materials plant in Poland, right next to Umicore’s own battery materials plant, which is still unique in Europe, will further enable the transition to electric driving that is truly sustainable

      Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore

      Preparation of the site, engineering and permitting are ongoing and construction will start soonest once the permitting process is completed. Production of the plant is expected to begin as soon as construction is completed, while PowerCo´s CAM demand for the Salzgitter cell gigafactory is secured from the existing production capacity of Umicore in Nysa in time for its start of production in 2025.

      IONWAY’s choice for Nysa and Poland is based on their strategic location with access to renewable energy sources to power the plant’s production as well as a skilled workforce, and follows the support from the Polish government. Moreover, the production facility will benefit from Umicore’s nearby CAM knowhow in Nysa and easy access to raw materials from Umicore’s refining operations in Finland.

      “Today’s launch of IONWAY signals PowerCo and Umicore’s commitment to sustainable progress that makes electric cars affordable for everybody, starting now.”

      Thomas Jansseune, CEO of IONWAY

      IONWAY will produce tailored high-performance CAM as well as the related precursor materials (pCAM), and supply it to PowerCo’s European battery cell gigafactories. The site selection for IONWAY’s pCAM plant is ongoing and will be announced at a later date. As the key technological levers for the performance of rechargeable batteries, pCAM and CAM are essential to a successful powertrain transition towards e-mobility, with ultra-pure CAM being the battery’s most critical and therefore valuable component.

      [1] The European Commission’s Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework (TCTF) fosters support measures in sectors which are key for the transition to a net-zero economy, in line with the Green Deal Industrial Plan.

      About ionway

      IONWAY embodies the pioneering spirit of leading the way in the transition towards clean electric mobility and a zero-emission future.   

      IONWAY’s head start lies in its unique advantage of having the support of Umicore and Volkswagen’s PowerCo, companies with a renowned track record in battery materials for electric vehicles, in automotive and in automotive batteries.  

      For more information contact:

      Diana Horghidan

      Global Communications Manager – IONWAY
      Phone +32 (0) 485 720334

      About PowerCO 

      The Volkswagen Group is bundling its global battery activities in the European company (SE) PowerCo.

      From Salzgitter, the company manages international factory operations, the further development of cell technology, the vertical integration of the value chain and the supply of machinery and equipment to the factories. Looking ahead, further products such as major storage systems for the energy grid are planned.

      Since its launch in July 2022, PowerCo has already decided three gigafactory locations: Salzgitter in Germany, Valencia in Spain and St. Thomas in Canada. The company plans to set up cell factories with a total capacity of 240 GWh/year in 2030.

      For more information contact:

      Dr. Stefan Ernst

      Spokesperson Battery|Volkswagen Group Technology – IONWAY
      Phone +49 5361 9 960976

      About UMICORE

      Umicore is a leading circular materials technology Group. It focuses on application areas where its expertise in materials science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a real difference. Its activities are organized in three business groups: Catalysis, Energy & Surface Technologies and Recycling. Each business group is divided into market-focused business units offering materials and solutions that are at the cutting edge of new technological developments and essential to everyday life.     

      Umicore generates the majority of its revenues and dedicates most of its R&D efforts to clean mobility materials and recycling. Umicore’s overriding goal of sustainable value creation is based on an ambition to develop, produce and recycle materials in a way that fulfils its mission: materials for a better life.    

      Umicore’s industrial and commercial operations as well as R&D activities are located across the world to best serve its global customer base. The Group generated revenues (excluding metal) of € 4.2 billion (turnover of € 25.4 billion) in 2022 and currently employs more than 11,000 people.

      For more information contact:

      Investor Relations

      Caroline Kerremans

      Head of Investor Relations
      T: +32 2 227 72 21

      Eva Behaeghe

      Senior Investor Relations Manager
      Phone +32 2 227 70 68

      Adrien Raicher

      Investor Relations Manager
      Phone +32 2 227 74 34

      Benoît Mathieu

      Investor Relations Manager
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      Media Relations

      Marjolein Scheers

      Director External Relations
      Phone +32 2 227 71 47

      Caroline Jacobs

      Media Relations Manager
      Phone +32 2 227 7129