Siemens AG has selected Molycorp to supply rare earth materials over the next 10 years from its Mountain Pass, California mile for use in wind turbine generator magnets.

Molycorp will supply the materials to Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd. (‘Shin-Etsu’), which will produce the magnets Siemens intends to utilize in its wind turbines.
 
Siemens said that Molycorp would be able to provide greater global diversification and supply chain reliability and would benefit from the facility's ability to recycle water, regenerate the chemical reagents needed in rare earth production, generate power from a high-efficiency natural gas cogeneration power plant, and dispose of mine tailings through an paste tailings system.
 
The magnets to be used in Siemens’ direct drive wind turbines will contain reduced levels of heavy rare earth elements (HREEs), such as dysprosium.  In collaboration with Siemens Wind Power, Molycorp and Shin-Etsu will improve the magnet material to reach zero HREEs, Siemens said.  At the same time, Siemens added, supply chain reliability will be increased and costs will be reduced. 

Molycorp will supply the rare earth materials for magnets which Siemens intends to utilize in its wind turbines.
Molycorp will supply the rare earth materials for magnets which Siemens intends to utilize in its wind turbines.

Clean energy

'The contract with Shin-Etsu and Molycorp is an important step for us in sourcing magnet materials for our direct drive wind turbines,’ said Morten Rasmussen, head of technology at Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division. ‘We strive for diversification in the sourcing of these components to improve independency from specific markets.’
 
‘We are very pleased to have been selected to supply Siemens and Shin-Etsu with rare earth magnetic materials for this important clean energy supply chain project,’ said Geoff Bedford, Molycorp's president and CEO. 

 

This story is reprinted from material from Molycorp, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.