BHP, Prime Planet Energy & Solutions and Toyota Tsusho Corporation enter into MoU on the back of nickel sulphate supply

BHP, Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (PPES) and Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) are announcing today a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the creation of a Green Electric Vehicle (EV) Ecosystem that will enhance sustainability, recyclability and traceability.

The MoU signed between the three organisations has established a collaboration framework beginning with the supply of nickel sulphate from BHP’s new production plant in Nickel West (NiW), Western Australia to PPES.

PPES is one of Japan’s leading lithium-ion battery producers, and a joint venture between Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Panasonic Corporation. TTC is a general trading company that is part of the Toyota group.

BHP will supply PPES with nickel sulphate from its recently constructed Nickel West facility in Western Australia. This will enable PPES to develop lower carbon batteries that will be supplied to EV manufacturers, including Toyota. Toyota Motor Corporation Australia (TMCA) and Nickel West will also collaborate on EV supply on the back of an EV trial agreement signed in December 2020. 

In the MoU, the parties have agreed to seek to identify ways to make the Japanese battery supply chain more sustainable by lowering carbon emissions in battery value chains. The parties also intend to identify ways to implement standards for end-to-end raw materials traceability, ethical sourcing and human rights reporting.

The parties will also explore the possibility of recycling battery scrap and used batteries at BHP’s Nickel West for further processing and production of nickel bearing products.

BHP Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said: “Creating a Green EV Ecosystem is something that could make a real difference for the battery supply chain. Together with PPES and TTC, 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.  It starts with the raw material and we are delighted to supply PPES with nickel sulphate in this partnership where we will work together, with TTC, to create long term success and sustainability.”

PPES President and CEO, Hiroaki Koda, said: “I am delighted that we share the same values and have taken initiatives as “One Team” towards realizing a carbon-free green society. We will work towards optimizing the overlapping value chains to be more competitive and to continuously improve efficiency in our related operations. To make this happen, we would like to introduce the Kaizen concept moving forward, and together with reducing the carbon footprint in operations such as through electric mining vehicles. Our partnership is quite unique and advanced, as we could achieve both competitiveness and green business while securing a win-win relationship.”

TTC Chief Operating Officer for Metals Division, Masaharu Katayama, said: “We are delighted to have signed this MoU to establish a strong partnership among the parties to cope with the demand to realize Carbon Neutrality in due time. This partnership has great potential to secure competitive raw materials for the EV value chains as well as to create battery material recycling loops, which is crucial for EV development in the future. We look forward to working together to achieve our mutual goals to deliver a greener planet for our future generations.

BHP’s Nickel West Asset President, Jessica Farrell, said: “Demand for nickel in batteries is estimated to grow by over 500 per cent over the next decade to support increasing demand for electric vehicles. We have invested in our Nickel West facilities and power agreements so that we can now deliver some of the world’s most sustainable and lowest carbon emission nickel to customers. We are excited to work with our partners to potentially increase the use of electric vehicles at our operations and further advance our sustainability agenda.”