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21 January, 2021 - 20:43 By Tony Quested

100 per cent renewable energy confirmed for new JM battery facility in Poland

Johnson Matthey, the Cambridge Cluster-based world leader in sustainable technologies, says its battery cathode materials plant in Konin, Poland, will be powered solely by electricity from renewable sources from day one of production.

JM has signed a contract with Axpo, a leading European producer and marketer of renewable energy which focuses on solar and wind investments.

Axpo will provide renewable electricity to Johnson Matthey’s new factory in Konin that is expected to commence commissioning in 2022 to supply automotive platforms for production in 2024. 

Using 100 per cent renewable energy will significantly reduce the plant’s carbon footprint and support Poland’s shift to a lower carbon economy.

The new plant represents a major step in the commercialisation of eLNO®, JM’s family of advanced, nickel-rich cathode materials designed for PHEV/BEV automotive battery applications. eLNO has the strong environmental credentials that contribute to a sustainable battery value chain.

Securing 100 per cent renewable energy from day one demonstrates Johnson Matthey’s commitment to sustainability both now and in the future and represents the first step in the company’s plan to invest in strategic partnerships to develop new long term renewable energy supply as the battery materials business expands its production capacity.

Christian Günther, Chief Executive, Battery Materials at JM said: “Making battery materials is an energy intensive process. When running at target capacity, our Konin plant will significantly increase JM’s overall energy consumption, so it’s crucial that we minimise its carbon footprint from the outset to ensure a sustainable battery value chain.

“Playing a big part in the future of electric vehicles isn’t enough for us – sustainability is at heart of everything we do at Johnson Matthey as we strive to make the world a cleaner, healthier place.”

Recently Johnson Matthey signed a multi-million pound deal and joint development agreement with SPC Energy AG for the supply of more sustainable fuel cell components.

JM will provide 400,000 Direct Methanol MEA fuel cell components to SFC Energy AG (SFC), a global leader of hydrogen and direct methanol fuel cells for stationary and mobile hybrid power solutions. The agreement is starting in February 2021 for a duration of at least three years. JM has been working with SFC for almost 20 years with the goal of creating versatile fuel cell solutions. 

Jo Godden, Managing Director, New Markets and Fuel Cells, Johnson Matthey said: “JM is delighted to build further on our strong collaborative relationship with SFC. The mobile solutions SFC offer provide another vital route to decarbonisation as together we continue to deliver on our vision for a cleaner, healthier world.”

Johnson Matthey has also announced the appointment of Stephen Oxley as chief financial officer from April 2021. Karen Hayzen-Smith will step down as interim CFO and continue in her role as Group Financial Controller.  

Oxley joins from KPMG where he worked for nearly 30 years and brings experience of both audit and advisory roles for large, complex, international companies across a variety of sectors, including FMCG, healthcare, natural resources and industrials. He has worked with major global FTSE 100 and private companies, including Johnson Matthey. 

• PHOTOGRAPH: Christian Günther, Chief Executive, Battery Materials at JM

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