Masan aims to turn Viet Nam into a tungsten recycling technology hub

Monday, Nov 14, 2022 18:35

Danny Le (standing), CEO of Masan Group, at the Viet Nam – Germany Business Roundtable on November 13. —  Photo courtesy of Masan

Masan Group looks forward to the government’s support in ensuring steady raw material supply for its key tungsten scrap recycling project that seeks to turn Viet Nam into a tungsten recycling technology hub, according to its CEO Danny Le.

At the Viet Nam – Germany Business Roundtable attended by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on November 13, he said Masan established a relationship with German businesses in 2013 when it was seeking tungsten refining technology to fulfill its commitment to the government to go downstream and increase the value of Viet Nam’s industrial minerals.

Masan began partnering with H.C. Starck GmbH, a leading business in tungsten refining and recycling in Germany with over 100 years of experience and one of the few in the world with a comprehensive and environment-friendly Tungsten recycling platform.

In 2020 Masan bought out H.C. Starck’s global tungsten business and took over its plants in Germany, Canada and China with a total capacity of some 13,300 tonnes of high-value products, making Viet Nam the world's largest tungsten producer after China.

The acquisition helped Masan expand its market and client base to more than 50 countries and underline Vietnam's increased competitiveness in the international tungsten market.

Masan’s tungsten deep processing factory at its Nui Phao mine in Thai Nguyen Province. — Photo courtesy of Masan

Danny Le said, “In light of the global trend of accelerating a circular economy to achieve sustainable development goals, and the success of the tungsten refining project using high technology, Masan together with H.C. Starck is researching and planning for the construction of the first tungsten recycling plant in Viet Nam.

“The project aims to make Viet Nam the region's leading technology centre for recycling tungsten and precious metals, thereby reducing reliance on primary raw materials from mining activities.”

He proposed that the German government should consider an energy cost support scheme for energy intensive businesses like H.C. Starck and adopt a more flexible policy approach to enable greater accessibility to strategic raw materials critical to its tungsten recycling technology in Germany.

Masan Group also seeks the Vietnamese government’s support in reviewing and approving the import of tungsten scrap to ensure steady raw material supply for the tungsten scrap recycling project, which can turn Viet Nam into the region's leading technology centre for recycling tungsten and precious metals.

Scholz said German corporations and businesses are increasingly interested in Viet Nam, particularly in the fields of renewable energy and manufacturing.

He suggested that the two countries' businesses in these fields should collaborate more and grow together.

H.C. Starck’s tungsten recycling technology. — Photo courtesy of Masan

H.C. Starck recently invested 45 million British pounds in Nyobolt, a fast-charging Lithium-ion battery technology company in the UK, according to Danny Le.

Nyobolt’s technology employs H.C. Starck’s high-tech tungsten materials in the battery anode coating to produce batteries of superior quality.

Tungsten-based Lithium-ion batteries have super-fast charging speeds with 90 percent charge achieved in less than five minutes.

With up to 10 times higher power density, the battery has longer durability and lower usage cost. Having less thermal stress than conventional graphite-based batteries, there is a reduced risk of fire and explosion, thus increasing safety for end-users.

“By 2027 Masan will not only be the world's leading supplier of high-tech materials, but also an innovation leader in global consumer technology products with high-efficiency rechargeable Li-ion battery being the first-to-market,” he said.

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