Governor Cuomo announces Canadian firm Li-Cycle to build $175 million lithium-ion battery recycling hub in New York State

New York Governor Andrew Mark Cuomo yesterday announced that Li-Cycle Incorporated, a North America based lithium-ion battery resource recovery company, will further grow its operations in New York State. The company will invest over $175 million dollars in a lithium-ion battery recycling ‘Hub’ on a 15.4-acre parcel of land at Eastman Business Park (EBP). This is in addition to its Li-Cycle’s first US ‘Spoke’ operation already located at the park in Monroe County. The company has committed to creating at least 100 new jobs at the Hub, in addition to the 23 who will be working at the Spoke facility. In January of 2020, Empire State Development announced that Li-Cycle would establish its first US-based facility in New York State in an effort to tap into the robust lithium-ion battery supply chain and ecosystem in Rochester, New York and the USA. Li-Cycle plans to begin construction on the Hub facility in 2021.

“This international partnership with Li-Cycle will foster the supply chain of lithium-ion batteries, which are in high demand, and will further expand the thriving energy storage industry in the region,” Governor Cuomo said. “By investing in New York’s cleantech economy we are creating quality jobs and supporting our state’s clean energy businesses as we build back stronger from the COVID crisis and continue to move the Finger Lakes forward.”

Li-Cycle’s “Spoke” and “Hub” operations will complement each other. There will be several US-based Spokes that aggregate and refine spent, lithium-ion batteries so that the materials are separated and can be made into products. Rochester’s Li-Cycle Spoke, due to open this Fall, will be capable of shredding up to 5,000 t/yr of spent lithium-ion batteries. Ultimately, the Hub operation in Rochester will receive battery materials from the Rochester Spoke and similar operations across the US, and process them further for use as raw materials in future manufacturing, including for new batteries. ESD is assisting Li-Cycle with up to $5 million through the Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program once the business starts meeting new employment commitments. Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise are also assisting with the project.

Li-Cycle Executive Chairman and Co-Founder Tim Johnston said, “We are excited to be able to announce Rochester as the location of Li-Cycle’s first commercial Hub refinery. This facility will enable sustainable close loop production of critical materials for the battery industry, such as cobalt, nickel and lithium, right here in North America supporting the development of electric vehicles and other sustainable energy applications. We deeply appreciate the continued support of the local community, government agencies and Kodak in the development of this project.”

Founded in 2016 in Ontario, Canada, Li-Cycle has developed and validated a unique process that allows them to recover 80 to 100% of all materials found in lithium-ion batteries while maintaining no wastewater discharge and actualizing the company’s zero waste philosophy. All materials that are recovered from lithium-ion batteries are either processed to the point of being reusable in battery production, thus closing the loop, reusable in other applications or sent for further processing to other recyclers (e.g. steel and plastics) to ensure all materials generated are being returned to the economy. The company is capable of processing all types of lithium-ion batteries used in electronic devices, e-mobility, electric vehicles and energy storage.

Li-Cycle selected Eastman Business Park after determining it was the best location for the company to quickly develop the Hub by leveraging existing infrastructure at the park and provide services to its growing client base across the US and beyond.

The Hub project builds on the success story that is the rebirth of Eastman Business Park, where more than 6,000 people work at 114 companies now operating. Other sustainable Technology efforts at EBP aimed at growing the sustainable energy ecosystem include the BEST Test and Commercialization Center, the Kodak Cell Assembly Center and Plug Power. Other companies also thriving at EBP include DuPont, which last year opened the largest probiotics fermentation facility in the world, L3 Harris, LiDestri Food & Drink and Clearwater Organic Farms, which will also open a state-of-the-art, commercial hydroponic greenhouse in the fall of 2020.

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “Our investment in Li-Cycle’s lithium-ion battery recycling facility at Eastman Business Park represents our continued commitment not only to this company, but in broader economic opportunities within the sustainable energy industry.  This forward-thinking project will add high-quality jobs in the Finger Lakes region and advance our efforts to establish New York State as a world leader in energy storage.”

Doreen M. Harris, Acting President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “The announcement demonstrates the impacts of Governor Cuomo’s leadership in advancing new, clean technologies across all sectors through public-private partnerships that will spur economic development and job growth. Growing the energy storage sector is critically important to achieving our nation-leading clean energy goals. Li-Cycle is showing tremendous leadership with their commitment on that as well as their zero waste philosophy and we welcome them as a partner in New York’s thriving clean energy economy.”

State Senator Joe Robach said, “The addition of Li-Cycle Inc. to Eastman Business Park is great news for the Rochester region and the continued growth of our local economy.  Eastman Business Park continues to re-invent itself into a national research, innovation and technology hub, attracting new businesses and creating new jobs for our workforce, with Li-Cycle being the latest to invest in the Rochester community.”

State Assemblyman Peter Lawrence said, “The announcement is another welcome example that businesses are choosing to grow their businesses in Monroe County due to our highly-skilled workforce and turn-key infrastructure and facilities. Eastman Business Park could not be a more suitable and appropriate location for Li-Cycle Incorporated which is leading the way in the sustainable energy industry. I am very pleased that Li-Cycle is honoring its commitment to creating jobs in the region and reinvesting in our community.” 

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “Monroe County is renowned for innovation, sparking ideas and technologies that have driven global economic growth and industry advancement for decades, particularly inside Eastman Business Park. Li-Cycle’s latest investment in our community will create at least 100 new jobs for our talented and skilled workforce and will further cement our region as a leader in energy advancement nationwide.”

Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said, “I am happy to support the expansion of Li-Cycle Incorporated and the creation of at least 100 new jobs in Eastman Business Park, which provides providing further evidence that Rochester is the perfect location for high-tech job growth in the 21st century. I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and Empire State Development for making this investment in Rochester’s economy through Finger Lakes Forward. Together we are moving forward to create more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens.”

Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich said, “We are proud to have Li-Cycle call Eastman Business Park and the Town of Greece home.  Li-Cycle’s investment in our community is paving the way for more growth in one of EBP’s core industry sectors.  Sustainable energy and the energy storage industry are poised for exponential growth, making EBP’s massive industrial infrastructure and our highly skilled workforce a recipe for success.  The Town of Greece’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan has placed economic development and job creation at the forefront of the town’s interests, and Greece will continue to be a strong partner in achieving those goals.”

Eastman Business Park President and Kodak CFO Dave Bullwinkle said, “The planned Li-Cycle Hub project is a perfect fit for Eastman Business Park and Rochester. The Hub project needs the vast resources of the Park, including the utilities provided by RED-Rochester and the rail, security, risk and facilities management services provided by Kodak.  The new jobs created by the proposed project will directly and indirectly benefit the Rochester area.”

Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise said, “Li-Cycle’s plans to create a battery recycling hub at Eastman Business Park underscores the valuable infrastructure as well as battery and energy storage expertise available at this site in Rochester, NY. GRE coordinated the various economic development resources essential to secure Li-Cycle’s significant investment of $175 million and creation of 100 new jobs in our community.”

Previous articleGoogle to run datacentres on renewable energy by 2030
Next articleBioSolar provides updates on its EV battery solution