EIB completes $140 mln loan to Umicore for battery materials factory

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a €125 million ($140 million) loan to Belgium-based global material technologies and recycling group Umicore to partially finance the construction of a battery cathode material manufacturing facility in Poland.

The EIB loan will cover approximately half of the project costs in the initial phase, with cathode materials produced supplying battery manufacturers of high-tech lithium-ion batteries, the EIB said in a statement on Monday June 15.

The rechargeable lithium-ion batteries will be primarily used in electric vehicles (EVs).

The move comes alongside the EIB – the long-term lending institution of the European Union - recently reaffirming its commitment to financing projects across the entire value chain to contribute to the decarbonization of the economy.

The EIB expects to increase its backing of battery-related projects to more than €1 billion of financing in 2020.

In March, the EIB signed a €480 million loan agreement with LG Chem Wroclaw Energy, the Polish subsidiary of the LG Chem Group, to support the construction of manufacturing facilities for advanced lithium-ion cells and batteries in Poland.

“The trend towards the electrification of the automotive industry is gaining ground and in this context it is important to develop a European capacity across the full value chain of electric vehicle battery production,” Teresa Czerwinska, EIB vice-president overseeing operations in Poland, said.

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