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Case Celltech: As the accumulator industry grows, the value of recycling keeps increasing

Anders Blomqvist / Celltech

“Raw ingredients for accumulators are not produced in a snap of the fingers. As such, recycling old accumulators will be highly important in the future for the production of accumulators as well,” comments Managing Director of Celltech Anders Blomqvist.

Celltech is a well-known operator in the accumulator market. “Established in 1989, the company is among Finland’s leading accumulator and battery solution providers,” says Managing Director Anders Blomqvist as an introdution to the company.

“We provide industrial operators with everything from button cell batteries to energy containers and auxiliary power solutions. We also produce accumulator packages and systems for work machinery, which is quite an interesting and new market.”

The significance of recycling is highlighted as demand for accumulators increases

Celltech’s roots are in Finland, but the company is currently part of the Swedish Addtech AB group of companies. “Operating under an international company enables us to not only co-operate with our sister companies across geographical borders, but to make new investments as well,” Blomqvist describes.

“In early 2022, we will open an assembly plant in Tampere, which we have now been piloting for a couple of years. The plant will focus on the accumulator systems of industrial vehicles, and it will also be accompanied by a product development centre that will serve all of Celltech’s units,” Blomqvist says.

Demand for accumulators will increase in the coming years, and Blomqvist sees that as both an opportunity and a challenge. “The prices of raw materials for lithium accumulators have almost doubled already, and delivery times will grow longer as there is a global shortage of components. There are also recycled accumulators sitting in warehouses waiting for further processing,” he explains.

“The world is being electrified, but there are not enough mines producing raw ingredients for accumulators, and opening a new mine takes 5–10 years. That is why it is very important to recycle existing accumulators. However, as the recycling rate increases, we must also remember to invest in recycling capacity to avoid surplus stocks and to have the materials genuinely circulated,” Blomqvist comments.

Producer responsibility is part of environmental protection

In addition to material circulation, environmental protection also plays an important role in the responsibility of accumulator recycling. “It is not good if an accumulator ends up in nature or the wrong kind of waste,” Blomqvist states.

“It is highly important that the recycling of both lead and lithium accumulators is taken care of properly to avoid hazards. Producer organisations are valuable, as they are keeping these matters in the foreground. I have been working on the board of Recser for this year and have learned a lot,” Blomqvist says.

“The role of producer organisations is significant in matters such as providing information about new regulations. There is still room for improvement, and for example reinforcing the one-stop shop principle in accordance with the reformed Waste Act is a good endeavour,” Blomqvist says.

“It is a very good change for producers that Recser and Akkukierrätys are now using the same reporting system. All volumes can now be reported in the same system with the same principles,” says Anders Blomqvist appreciatively.

Text: Riina Nygrén / Noon Kollektiivi

Does your company import or manufacture batteries and accumulators or devices containing them for the Finnish market? If the answer is yes, you can take care of your producer responsibility by registering as a producer here.