Trafigura buys Germany’s Ecobat Stolberg lead plant

Credit: Ecobat

Trafigura has bought German lead plant Ecobat Resources Stolberg (ERS), also known as Berzelius Stolberg, the global commodities group said on Wednesday.

The Ecobat plant was among several German industrial units damaged by massive flooding in the country’s west and south last year and suffered months of lost production, declaring force majeure on its contracts.

“The plant has been under repair since a major flood event occurred in July 2021,” Trafigura said. “The restoration programme is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2022.”

The Stolberg plant will be operated and managed by Trafigura’s Nyrstar, Trafigura said without providing financial details of the transaction.

The Stolberg smelter largely supplies European battery producers with lead. It produces about 155,000 tonnes of lead annually and more than 100 different specifications of lead alloys plus 130,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid, the statement said.

“Combining the Stolberg plant with Nyrstar, which operates three European zinc smelters within a 300 km radius of the Stolberg plant, offers a unique opportunity to leverage several of Nyrstar’s by-products as feed material for the Stolberg multi-metal business,” Nyrstar CEO Daniel Vanin said in the statement.

The business will offer “locally produced strategic materials to Europe’s critical growth markets with a reduced carbon footprint and increased efficiency”, he added.

The transaction is expected to complete in the third quarter.

“The sale of ERS is consistent with our strategy to concentrate on our core business of battery recycling and represents a significant step in the rationalisation of our portfolio,” said Ecobat CEO Marcus Randolph.

(By Michael Hogan, Pratima Desai and Julia Payne; Editing by David Goodman)


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