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UPDATE 2-Johnson Matthey, FMG to build Finland EV materials plant

* To produce cathodes material for EV batteries

* Capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year

* Nornickel, SQM to supply plant

* Construction to start this year (Writes through, adds partnerships)

MOSCOW, April 19 (Reuters) - Johnson Matthey and state investor Finnish Minerals Group (FMG) have agreed to build a plant to produce cathode materials used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

The plant will have a capacity of 30,000 tonnes of cathode materials and be powered by renewable energy, Johnson Matthey said in a statement, adding that construction is expected to start this year.

Russia’s Nornickel will supply nickel and cobalt from its Harjavalta refinery in Finland and Chile’s SQM will supply lithium hydroxide, Johnson Matthey said.

“The developments with Nornickel and SQM, in conjunction with the investment by Finnish Minerals Group, form an important part of the sustainable supply chain for our cathode materials plants in both Finland and Poland,” Johnson Matthey said.

The plant will be part of an EV battery cluster in Finland which also includes German chemicals maker BASF and Finnish utility Fortum.

Nornickel, a top producer of nickel, said last week it would boost output of nickel products at Harjavalta. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; editing by Louise Heavens and Edmund Blair)

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