Talga, an Australian-based battery anode producer and 100% owner of the Vittangi graphite project, is constructing a scalable battery anode production facility and integrated graphite mining operation in northern Sweden. The anode refinery is expected to commence production in 2023.

Following its non-binding tripartite Letter of Intent (LOI) with Luossavaara-Kiirunavaraa Aktiebolag (LKAB) and Mitsui & Co Europe (Mitsui), the company will work jointly with ABB, a Switzerland-based global leader in power and automation technologies to build its anode project in Sweden.

Under the MoU, ABB will utilize its industrial automation and electrification expertise to develop and co-ordinate an extensive suite of production control and process solutions for Talga’s vertically integrated lithium-ion battery anode operations.

In addition, ABB will work together with Talga and its partners to provide engineering support for the Vittangi anode project definitive feasibility study, due for completion in March 2021, with the intent to execute binding agreements for construction and operations at a later date.

“ABB is at the forefront of industrial automation and electrification, and we are very pleased to have their support as we continue to execute on our plan to build Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery anode production facility for more sustainable batteries,” Talga managing director Mark Thompson said.

Björn Jonsson, ABB's hub division manager North Europe, Process Industries, said: “Supporting the development of Talga’s Vittangi anode project provides us with an additional opportunity to showcase ABB’s leadership in industrial automation and smart electrification, applied towards construction of key operations for the emerging European battery supply chain. This is another milestone for us and our customers in our aim for more sustainable operations and a fossil fuel free society.”

“This is further proof that the lithium-ion battery industry is becoming more globalized and spreading from East Asia to other regions and especially Europe where a large lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle industry is being established. This also goes to show that events like the US/China trade war and Covid-19, as well as climate issues, have accelerated the desire for shorter supply chains and lower CO2 footprints. It is still early days for the electrification era, we have decades of growth ahead," Fastmarkets’ head of battery raw materials research William Adams said.