The US Department of Energy (DOE) is going to finance a huge recycling hub that will support the battery needs of around 203,000 EVs a year.
The DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) today announced a conditional commitment to lithium-ion battery recycling company Li-Cycle for a $375 million loan to help construct North America’s first commercial lithium-ion battery resource recovery facility in Rochester, New York.
As is the norm with LPO loans, its finalization is subject to certain conditions being met, but the loan is expected to close in second quarter 2023.
The Toronto-based Li-Cycle’s Rochester Hub will become a significant US source of battery-grade materials, including lithium, nickel, and cobalt.
Li-Cycle is already North America’s largest lithium-ion sustainable pure-play battery recycler, and the DOE loan is going to enable the company to expand its operations.
As Electrek reported in December 2021, Li-Cycle operates four US battery recycling centers it calls “Spokes,” and they process battery materials. The Spokes will send the processed materials to the Rochester Hub, which will then recycle them into battery grade end-products for reuse in lithium-ion battery production.
At peak construction, the Rochester Hub is expected to create more than 1,000 construction jobs, and once it’s fully online, it will support around 270 permanent operations jobs.
Li-Cycle expects construction of its Rochester factory to be complete this year.
The Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act has triggered a surge in companies opening clean energy manufacturing facilities in the US. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said today:
This DOE investment in Li-Cycle will reduce our reliance on China and strengthen America’s battery supply chain.
And once the facility is at full steam, it is projected to be the biggest source of lithium carbonate in the United States.
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