Li-Cycle Holdings Corp., a leading global lithium-ion battery resource recovery company, is pleased to announce the start of commercial operations at its first Spoke recycling facility in Europe, located in Magdeburg, Germany.
The Germany Spoke’s first main processing line has now commenced operations, with the second main line expected to start later in 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 planned, the facility is expected to have a total capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year, making the Germany Spoke the largest Spoke in Li-Cycle’s current portfolio and one of the largest facilities of its kind on the continent.
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 (EV) battery packs, without the need for discharging, dismantling or thermal processing. As Li-Cycle’s first Spoke facility outside North America, the startup of the Germany Spoke reinforces Li-Cycle’s ability to deploy its proprietary modular technology and business model anywhere in the world, growing in lockstep with customer demand. Germany represents the largest market for both battery manufacturing scrap and the expected supply of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries in Europe.
“We are thrilled to announce that Li-Cycle has started operations in Europe with the opening of our largest Spoke to date,” said Tim Johnston, co-founder and Executive Chair of Li-Cycle. “This is a great milestone for Li-Cycle as we continue to strengthen our position as a leading global battery recycling and resource recovery company. The new Spoke facility in Germany will serve as an anchor point for Li-Cycle’s expansion in Europe and support our growing customer base, including global battery manufacturers and automakers, in the largest battery market on the continent. We are excited to continue expanding our footprint around the world to build local and sustainable closed-loop battery supply chains to support the clean energy transition.”
Li-Cycle’s Germany Spoke leverages existing infrastructure with access to clean renewable energy and key transportation outlets. The Spoke is strategically located near key manufacturing centers to support the accelerating demand from Li-Cycle’s growing European customer base. The Germany Spoke has created approximately 50 new jobs, is more than 20,000 square metres (approximately 200,000 square feet) in size, and has approximately 10,000 square metres (approximately 100,000 square feet) in warehousing capacity.
Across its five Spokes in North America and Europe, Li-Cycle is expected to have a total input processing capacity of up to 81,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery material per year. The network of five operating Spokes, which are located in Kingston, Ontario; Rochester, New York; Gilbert, Arizona; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and now Magdeburg, Germany, ensures that the Company has an established footprint in key strategic regions to maintain its significant first-mover advantage on both continents.
Li-Cycle has additional European Spokes planned in France and Norway, with future planned capacity across its global Spoke network of more than 100,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery material per year. 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 future Hub facilities. The Company’s first commercial Hub facility is under construction in Rochester, New York, and is expected to commence commissioning later this year and process up to 35,000 tonnes of black mass per year.
Li-Cycle has also announced plans to develop a second commercial Hub in Europe. Li-Cycle and Glencore anticipate forming a 50/50 joint venture that would repurpose part of the existing Glencore metallurgical complex in Portovesme, Italy to create this new Hub (the “Portovesme Hub”). A definitive feasibility study for the project is currently underway. The Portovesme Hub would be a landmark project for Europe’s battery recycling industry and is expected to be the largest source of recycled battery-grade lithium, as well as recycled nickel and cobalt, on the European continent. Once operational, the Portovesme Hub is expected to have a processing capacity of 50,000-70,000 tonnes of black mass per year.