Neo Performance Materials (NPM) that owns Estonia-based rear earth metals maker Silmet will construct a magnet factory and R&D center in Narva, writes Estonian National Broadcasting ERR. DGE’s Estonian partner Hendrikson is set to provide climate proofing services, which also makes this Estonia’s very first climate proofing project.
The plant will produce magnets made of rate earth metals and recycled magnets. Rare earth metal magnets are a key component in renewable energy technologies, electric vehicles, data carriers, households electronics, medical equipment and robotics.
The first rare earth metals magnet factory in the western world
There are several really exciting aspects to this project,” says Director of the DGE Estonian companies, Heikki Kalle. “This will be the first rare earth metals magnet manufacturing facility outside of China and Japan, and the first in the western world. With shorter supply chains, this will be helping to reduce CO2 emissions. It is also the very first climate proofing project in Estonia, and probably one of the first in the EU.”
As to what Hendrikson’s role was exactly, the project lead Mart Dungay explains further: “Our work looks at identifying risk and developing appropriate (and tailor made) mitigation solutions for each area: climate risk to the company (storms, floods, business continuity and interruptions) and climate risk from the company to the environment (GHG emissions, other emissions). For the REE facility, we focused on reducing their use of raw REE deposits by increasing use of recycled raw materials (old magnets), changes to landscaping and stormwater drainage structures, use of solar panels, and conducting ex ante GHG emission calculations over the lifespan of the project.”
“Because the entire world will have to switch to a carbon neutral economy, demand for such magnets is forecast to grow significantly. The EU does not have a sustainable magnets supply chain to support greater demand, nor is it possible to reuse magnets at this time. Neo Performance Materials will create unique capacity in Europe to bolster supply chains and our economy,” Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Kristjan Järvan said.
NPM also owns Silmet, which is the only commercially operated industrial scope rear earth metals facility in Europe. NPM President Constantine Karayannopoulos said that the Narva plant will be the first rear earth metals magnets factory to become a core part of electric vehicles and wind turbines supply chains in the EU and North America.