In the new strategy Fortum launched in March, the Circular Solutions businesses were no longer included among the company's core activities. Circular Solutions is responsible for operating, maintaining and developing Fortum’s recycling and waste assets as well as its turbine and generator services and bio-based solutions. Fortum's new focus is to be delivering clean energy and drive decarbonisation of industries in the Nordics.
Fortum's battery recycling operations would also be affected by a potential sale. Only this past spring, Fortum started up a recycling plant for electric vehicle (EV) batteries near Heilbronn. In July, subsidiary Battery Recycling Fortum announced plans for a production facility for sustainable secondary battery materials in the German state of Thuringia.
"Our battery recycling activities form an outstanding business area. The purpose of the strategic assessment is to evaluate whether there are better growth and value creation opportunities for the recycling business under new ownership than under current ownership," a Fortum spokesperson told EUWID. A partnership for the battery recycling business is also under discussion.
Should it decide to divest Circular Solutions operations, the Finnish company would sell off not only its battery recycling business, but also its waste to energy plants. According to Fortum, it will take about a year before a decision regarding a sale of the recycling business is made and "there is no certainty whether the assessment will result in any transactions".
In 2022, Fortum employed about 1,300 people in its waste and recycling business operations, located primarily in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. The group reported underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) from its Circular Solutions businesses of around €70m last year. Together these businesses held net assets valued at around €700m as of the end of 2022.