Li-Cycle announced its first European battery recycling facility in Norway. The company formed a joint venture with ECO STOR, a second-life energy storage development business focused on converting used lithium-ion batteries into energy storage systems and Li-Cycle will be the majority owner of the joint venture. ECO STOR and Morrow will be the minority owners.
The new joint venture will construct a new spoke, which is a reference to its spoke and hub technologies used in lithium-ion resource recovery. The company touched upon Norway’s leadership in the global EV adoption rate and its path of phasing out sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles within a few months.
This would put Norway three years ahead of the 2025 target proposed by its government, and Li-Cycle wants to help Norway establish a facility that would help the nation recycle end-of-life lithium-ion batteries. Li-Cycle noted that Norway has the potential to become a significant supplier of long-term end-of-life lithium-ion batteries.
Li-Cycle noted that this is in addition to the sustainable domestic supply of manufacturing scrap that is expected to be generated in Norway as battery manufacturing capacity is increased, thanks to companies such as Morrow.
When completed, the Norwegian Spoke will be its first recycling facility outside of North America. Li-Cycle expects to have the capacity to process up to 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries annually, including battery manufacturing scrap, full EV packs, and energy storage systems.
The new Spoke is planned to be operational early next year and is expected to unite the circular and sustainable value chain within the European market. With the new European Spoke, Li-Cycle’s total expected global recycling capacity rises up to 40,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery input annually.
Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO, and co-founder of Li-Cycle, shared thoughts on this momentous step for the company.
“This is a significant step for Li-Cycle, as we deploy our proven lithium-ion battery resource recovery solution to the European market and execute on our global growth strategy with key industry partners. Norway’s early leadership in EV adoption and ecosystem is a beacon for electrification globally, creating a robust market for both battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries domestically. Together with our new partners, we believe we are well-positioned to capitalize on this meaningful opportunity.”
ECO STOR will provide the newly formed joint venture with end-of-life lithium-ion batteries, and Morrow will also provide lithium-ion battery manufacturing scrap from its planned battery manufacturing facilities in Norway. Li-Cycle will provide the rest — equipment, technology, technical services, and operational management of the new facility.
Li-Cycle will also have the right to acquire all of the facility’s production of black mass.
ECO STOR CEO Trygve Burchardt touched upon his company’s history with the development of technologies for second-life EV batteries and why this is important.
“As a leading supplier of energy storage solutions in Norway, ECO STOR has pioneered the development of technologies that enable widespread deployment of second-life EV batteries. “Providing batteries with a second life is a significant step on the path to delivering stable, clean, renewable energy and we are pleased to provide a complete recycling solution through our new partnership.”
Morrow CEO Terje Andersen spoke about how the new partnership will create a closed material loop ecosystem that supports European customers, while ensuring it can deliver value from battery materials via reuse and recycling.
“Localizing the full battery supply chain to Norway’s ‘battery coast’ and South Norway is key to driving down our cell production cost, while simultaneously delivering the world’s most sustainable batteries. This partnership will develop a closed material loop ecosystem supporting European customers and will ensure we continue to deliver value from battery materials through re-use and recycling over the long term.”
Koch Engineered Solutions is supporting the execution of the Norway Spoke by constructing, testing, and shipping the modular Spoke facility. Koch and Li-Cycle have been collaborating on key strategic capabilities across the Koch ecosystem, and recently announcing an investment in Li-Cycle.
Brian Boster, President of Optimized Process Designs, which is an engineering procurement and construction capability in Koch Engineered Solutions, shared his excitement about the new collaboration and advancing innovation in battery recycling and recovery.
“We’re excited to collaborate with Li-Cycle to advance this exciting project in the circular economy value chain. Advancing Innovation in the battery recycling/recovery space adds direct long-term value to our partners and helps ensure a future sustainable battery ecosystem.”
I actually connected with Li-Cycle outside of CleanTechnica when I chatted with Chief Commercial Officer Kunal Phalpher on my gem and mineral podcast. It hasn’t been a full year since that chat, but watching Li-Cycle flourish as it has been is pretty inspiring. In our conversation, Phalpher share the importance of battery recycling and the fact that the company had just recently gotten listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Phalpher told me then that they were excited about that step and excited to grow the business internationally.
Although Li-Cycle is a North American company, Norway represents its first step in Europe and it will be exciting to see this company expand to Asia and Australia. Will they? I don’t know. But the future is pretty exciting.