Neo Performance Materials wins grant from Estonia for rare earth magnet facility
Neo Performance Materials Inc. announced that it has been awarded a grant of up to 18.7 million Euros from the Government of Estonia under Europe's Just Transition Fund (JTF) program to help pay for the cost of constructing a state-of-the-art sintered rare earth permanent magnet manufacturing facility in Estonia.
Receipt of the government grant award is a key milestone for Neo as it progresses toward an expected 2023 construction launch of the planned magnet plant in Ida Viru County in Estonia. Neo anticipates onset of manufacturing operations in 2025. The European magnet plant is a key component of Neo's rapidly advancing "Magnets-to-Mine" vertical integration strategy.
The grant to Neo is the first such award to any critical materials company in the EU under the JTF program.
In announcing the award to Neo, Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said: "Estonia is known for our secure and transparent business environment as well as e-solutions, which all support the ease of doing business. We are pleased that Neo Performance Materials has chosen Estonia as its new production and R&D base for its strategic growth areas. This also contributes to supporting the green energy transition in Europe."
Estonia's Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, Kristjan Järvan, added: "Rare earth magnets are a key component in renewable energy technology, electric vehicles, data carriers, consumer electronics, medical devices and robotics. The need to transition to a carbon-neutral economy predicts high demand for such magnets. Today, European Union is missing a sustainable, resilient rare earth magnet supply chain to supply European and North American OEMs for electric vehicle motors. With its new factory, Neo Performance Materials creates unique new capabilities in Europe and thereby strengthens the supply chains and also our economy."
Constantine Karayannopoulos, Neo's Chief Executive Officer, said: "On behalf of the entire Neo team, I want to thank the Government of Estonia for choosing to partner with us in making a joint investment that can help deliver a highly strategic manufacturing asset to Estonia and Europe. This vertically integrated rare earth manufacturing capacity will help Europe move closer to achieving its greenhouse gas reduction and climate resiliency goals. Further, in our design for this facility, we intend to set a new standard of sustainability and recycling and to show that circular economics can be made integral to advanced material manufacturing in a manner that benefits the environment as well as shareholders and investors."
The grant of up to 18.7 million Euro to Neo is based upon up to 100 million Euro in project costs, as well as other factors such as the number of new jobs created. The terms of the award are governed by the Government of Estonia’s regulations on "General conditions for granting and using funds from the operational programs of the European Union cohesion and internal security policy funds for the period 2021-2027", the regulations on "Ida-Viru business investment support", and the EU’s "Act on the Implementation of the European Union Cohesion and Internal Security Policy Funds for the period 2021–2027".