BHP Nickel West to supply Toyota EV battery manufacturer

BHP and Toyota have agreed to clean up the electric vehicle battery supply chain that will stretch from WA nickel mines to Japanese car plants after they announced a sales agreement today.

BHP has secured a contract to supply nickel sulphate from its newly-opened plant in Kwinana, south of Perth, to Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, a lithium-ion battery manufacturer owned by Toyota and Panasonic.

Toyota is the second car manufacturer to become a BHP Nickel West customer after Elon Musk’s Tesla signed up in July for nickel-sulphate crystals, a key ingredient for cathodes in lithium-ion batteries.

Both deals for supply from the $140 million plant next to BHP’s existing nickel refinery come with agreements for the buyer and seller to cooperate to decarbonise the supply chain.

BHP chief commercial officer Vandita Pant said the three companies wanted to make a real difference for the battery supply chain.

“We are taking the next step in creating a more sustainable, transparent industry and one that is working collectively to lift standards and reduce emissions,” Ms Pant said.

BHP, Toyota and PPES have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a so-called green EV ecosystem that incorporates sustainability, recycling and traceability.

Toyota metals division chief operating officer Masaharu Katayama said the supply chain for electric vehicle batteries has to be carbon-neutral eventually, and recycling of batteries would play a part.

The three companies will investigate the use of electric vehicles at BHP’s nickel mines in WA’s Goldfields and recycling battery scrap and used batteries at BP’s Kwinana refinery.

BHP’s Nickel West asset president Jessica Farrell said her business had improved its facilities and secured renewable energy supply agreements to produce some of the world’s least carbon-intensive nickel.

Separately, the Kwinana Industrial Council that represents heavy industry in Kwinana, including BHP, today launched a carbon reduction plan for the area that produces Scope 1 and 2 emissions of 8.2 million tonnes a year.

Carbon sequestration, offsets, and renewable energy are among the solutions the council is investigating to identify practical projects for the area that directly and indirectly employs about 30,000 people.

Extracted from The Sydney Morning Herald

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