New battery recycling center set for Alabama

Li-Cycle Holdings Corp, a lithium-ion battery resource recovery and recycling company announced that it will build a fourth commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

With the pace of deployment of new battery mega-factories far exceeding initial expectations, the company said in a press release that it will construct an additional fourth Spoke in North America (Spoke 4). The original base case plan was for three North American Spokes (Kingston, Ontario and Rochester, New York (commercially operational) and Gilbert, Arizona (advanced execution stage).

Li-Cycle believes that the southeastern United States is emerging as a critical region for the lithium-ion battery supply chain, as battery manufacturers and automotive OEMs establish operations in the region, which will lead to the generation of significant quantities of battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries available for recycling.

Univar Solutions Inc. will be an anchor battery feed supply customer for the new facility, following on Li-Cycle’s previously announced on-site partnership with Univar Solutions to provide waste management solutions for electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery manufacturing.

When completed, Li-Cycle’s Spoke 4 facility will have an initial capacity of up to 5,000 tonnes of battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries per year, bringing Li-Cycle’s total North American recycling capacity to 25,000 tonnes per year. The Tuscaloosa site is also being developed to accommodate a future, second 5,000 tonne processing line, which would increase capacity at the Tuscaloosa site to 10,000 tonnes per year, and Li-Cycle’s total North American recycling capacity to 30,000 tonnes per year.

The Alabama Spoke is projected to commence operations by mid-2022 and is expected to create an initial 30+ new jobs.

The execution of Spoke 4 is strongly supported by a range of local stakeholders, including but not limited to:

  • Univar Solutions and their existing automotive customer base;
  • The Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA);
  • The State of Alabama, including the Alabama Department of Commerce; and
  • The Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Authority.

“Our new facility in Alabama positions us well to meet the growing demand for lithium-ion battery recycling,” said Tim Johnston, Co-founder, and Executive Chairman of Li-Cycle. “Originally, we had planned on rolling out three commercial Spoke facilities in North America over the next five years, with a total recycling capacity of 20,000 tonnes per year. However, demand for lithium-ion battery recycling has continued to outperform our forecasts and we are now forecasting total recycling capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year. This facility is essential in filling a recycling gap in the southeastern United States. Like our Arizona Spoke, we expect the new facility to have the capability to process entire vehicle battery packs, without dismantling.”

“We have a responsibility to not only manufacture vehicles and batteries, but to be good corporate citizens in the choices we make to protect our environment and the community around us,” said Michael Goebel, President and CEO, Mercedes-Benz, US International, Inc. (MBUSI), which is working together with Univar Solutions on end-of-life solutions for lithium-ion batteries. “We welcome the partnership between Univar Solutions and Li-Cycle and the strong commitment of our partners here in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to push a sustainable future for mobility.”

“With EV production set to start in Alabama in 2022, Li-Cycle’s Tuscaloosa recycling facility will ensure that Alabama plays another important role in the lifecycle of the batteries powering electric vehicles,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “This project addresses the battery repurposing proposition that must also be a part of the sustainability solution that EVs offer.”

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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