SK Ecoplant invests $50 million in U.S based EV battery recycling company

SK Ecoplant, a South-Korean construction engineering company and an environmental unit of Korean conglomerate SK, has invested $50 million (Rs 398 crore) in Ascend Elements, a United States based lithium-ion battery recycling and engineered materials company.

The company says the investment will help accelerate the commercialisation of Ascend Elements’ innovative Hydro-to-Cathode direct precursor synthesis process technology, which quickly and efficiently transforms recycled lithium-ion batteries and manufacturing scrap into high-performance, customised EV battery cathode precursor and cathode active materials that meet or exceed performance standards set by leading battery manufacturers.

Mike O’Kronley, CEO, Ascend Elements said “This is a milestone investment for our company. SK ecoplant has been building and investing in sustainable companies and technologies, and the company’s leadership understands the game-changing potential of our direct precursor synthesis technology.

Ascend Elements recently announced plans to invest up to $1 billion (Rs 7,973 crore) over several phases to build a sustainable lithium-ion battery materials facility. The first-of-its-kind manufacturing facility, known as ‘Apex 1’, will produce enough lithium-ion battery precursor and sustainable cathode active material to equip up to 250,000 electric vehicles per year.

Park Kyung-il, CEO, SK ecoplant said, “This investment continues our strategic partnership with Ascend Elements and lays the foundation for SK ecoplant to dominate the global battery recycling industry.

The company is also opening a battery recycling facility in Covington, Georgia. When fully operational in Q4 2022, the facility known as Base 1 will recycle more than 30,000 metric tons of used batteries and manufacturing scrap per year.

Based in Westborough, Massachusets., Ascend Elements aims to revolutionise the production of lithium-ion battery materials by establishing a clean and sustainable supply chain using recycled feedstock.

Its Hydro-to-Cathode direct precursor synthesis technology produces new cathode active materials from spent lithium-ion cells more efficiently than traditional methods, resulting in reduced cost, improved performance, and lowered GHG emissions.

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