Li-Cycle Holdings Corp., a prominent global company specializing in lithium-ion battery resource recovery, marked the successful inauguration of its inaugural Spoke recycling facility in Europe. This facility is situated in Sülzetal, near Magdeburg, within the Saxony-Anhalt region of Germany.
Minister-President of Saxony-Anhalt, Dr. Reiner Haseloff, was in attendance as Li-Cycle held an official opening ceremony after the start of operations in August 2023. Li-Cycle also hosted local dignitaries, employees, community stakeholders and partners at the event and provided tours of the plant.
“Today is a good day for Saxony-Anhalt,” said Minister-President of Saxony-Anhalt, Dr. Reiner Haseloff. “The new battery recycling plant in Sülzetal is an investment with a future. It is an important contribution to a sustainable, efficient and competitive battery industry. The achievement of sustainability goals depends on a circular economy. And we can and we must also make our living spaces environmentally- and climate-friendly.”
The Germany Spoke utilizes Li-Cycle’s patented and environmentally friendly ‘Generation 3’ Spoke technology to directly process all forms of lithium-ion battery waste, including full electric vehicle battery packs, without the need for discharging, dismantling or thermal processing. One main line is now fully operational, and a second parallel line is expected to start operations in late 2023. Each main line has the capacity to process up to 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery material per year. With an additional 10,000 tonnes of ancillary capacity also planned, the facility is expected to have a total processing capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year, making the Germany Spoke one of the largest in Li-Cycle’s current portfolio and one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe.
Sülzetal’s central location near key battery manufacturing facilities and Li-Cycle customers, supportive industrial policy, and local stakeholder and community support, make it an ideal location for the Spoke facility. Germany also represents the largest market for both battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life lithium-ion batteries in Europe. The Germany Spoke currently employs approximately 60 people and will further strengthen the region’s role in the clean technology industry.
“It was a pleasure to commemorate the official opening of Li-Cycle’s first European Spoke alongside key stakeholders,” said Tim Johnston, Executive Chair and co-founder of Li-Cycle. “Our Germany Spoke strengthens our position as a leading global battery recycling and resource recovery company and we are excited to continue expanding globally to build local and sustainable closed-loop battery supply chains. Our growing footprint in Europe is helping provide an environmentally friendly source of raw materials to support the Continent’s transition to electrification.”
Richard Storrie, President EMEA at Li-Cycle, added: “The State of Saxony-Anhalt is the ideal location for our first European recycling facility, and we are delighted to celebrate this milestone together with representatives from the region. Our first Spoke in Europe is supporting our growing customer base in Germany, the largest battery market on the Continent. We look forward to continuing to work alongside the local community in Saxony-Anhalt for our clean energy future.”
As Li-Cycle’s first Spoke facility outside North America, the Germany Spoke reinforces Li-Cycle’s ability to deploy its highly scalable and patent-protected technologies around the world. Li-Cycle has additional European Spokes planned in France and Norway. Li-Cycle’s Spokes produce an intermediate product called “black mass,” which includes a variety of valuable battery materials such as lithium, nickel and cobalt.
Li-Cycle plans to process the black mass it produces from its Spoke network at its Hub facilities. The Company’s first Hub facility, in Rochester, New York State, is on track to commence commissioning in late 2023 and will process up to 35,000 tonnes of black mass per year. Li-Cycle has also announced plans to develop a second Hub in Europe. Li-Cycle, in partnership with Glencore, plans to repurpose part of the existing Glencore metallurgical complex in Portovesme, Italy to create a new Hub facility (the “Portovesme Hub”). Phase 1 of the Portovesme Hub is expected to start processing black mass in the first half of 2024, enabling the production of lithium carbonate, as well as nickel and cobalt. The full-scale Phase 2 of the Portovesme Hub is expected to be one of the largest sources of sustainable recycled battery materials in Europe.