Silmet owner to construct €100 million magnet factory in Narva

NPM Silmet.
NPM Silmet. Source: Estonian Chemical Industries Association

Neo Performance Materials (NPM) that owns Estonia-based rear earth metals maker Silmet will construct a magnet factory and R&D center in Narva. NPM is set to invest €81.25 million to which Estonia will add €18.75 million.

The plant will produce magnets made of rate earth metals and recycled magnets.

Rare earth metal magnets are a key component in renewable energy technologies, electric vehicles, data carriers, households electronics, medical equipment and robotics.

"Because the entire world will have to switch to a carbon neutral economy, demand for such magnets is forecast to grow significantly. The EU does not have a sustainable magnets supply chain to support greater demand, nor is it possible to reuse magnets at this time. Neo Performance Materials will create unique capacity in Europe to bolster supply chains and our economy," Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Kristjan Järvan said.

NPM also owns Silmet, which is the only commercially operated industrial scope rear earth metals facility in Europe.

NPM President Constantine Karayannopoulos said that the Narva plant will be the first rear earth metals magnets factory to become a core part of electric vehicles and wind turbines supply chains in the EU and North America.

Estonia is supporting the plant with money from the Just Transition Fund. Its Ida-Viru County measure is aimed at major investments towards climate neutrality to help diversify the regional economy, develop new high value added production and create new jobs and value chains.

The measure's planned total budget is €153 million that should go towards at least 20 major projects in 2022-2026 and at least 1,000 new jobs in Ida-Viru County. The maximum support sum is between €500,000 and €19 million depending on planned activities and results.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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