Foundation Stone Laid: First Rare Earth Permanent Magnet Plant in Europe

by | 4. Jul 2023 - 11:20 | Economy

Construction of the first production facility takes place not far from Neo Performance Materials’ existing separation plant in Sillamäe, Estonia.

The go-ahead has been given for the construction of a rare earth permanent magnet production plant in Narva, Estonia – the first of its kind outside Asia. This was announced by Neo Magnequench, a division of Canada’s Neo Performance Materials, on Tuesday.

The components that will be manufactured in the future will be used primarily in the areas of electromobility and renewable energies, for example in wind turbines, and are of great importance for the energy transition. The production facility being built in Narva is close to the rare earth separation plant already operated by Neo Performance in Sillamäe, Estonia. Neo Performance’s outgoing CEO Constantine Karayannopoulos spoke in a video to mark the start of construction of the plant, saying it would be important for de-risking rare earth supply chains and would contribute to the company’s mine-to-metals strategy. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also stressed the significance of permanent magnets for achieving climate targets. The construction of the Estonian plant is financially supported by the Just Transition Fund (JTF), through which the European Union is providing targeted support to regions on their way to climate neutrality by 2050.

The Narva plant is an important step towards independence from China, the largest exporter of rare earths. Further projects in Europe are already planned: The production facility in Narva is to serve as a model for Greenland. There, Neo Performance is involved in the exploration of a rare earth deposit (we reported).

Photo: : iStock/ismael juan

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