Li-Cycle building plant in Alabama

Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. will build its fourth commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

With the pace of deployment of new battery mega-factories far exceeding initial expectations, Li-Cycle will construct an additional fourth Spoke in North America (Spoke 4). The company previously had a base case plan for three North American Spokes – the Kingston, Ontario, and Rochester, New York, Spoke facilities are commercially operational; the Gilbert, Arizona Spoke facility is under construction.

The southeastern United States is emerging as a critical region for the lithium-ion battery supply chain, as battery manufacturers and automotive OEMs establish operations in the region, which will lead to the generation of significant quantities of battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries available for recycling.

Univar to supply batteries

Univar Solutions Inc. will be an anchor battery feed supply customer for the new facility, following on Li-Cycle’s previously announced on-site partnership with Univar Solutions to provide waste management solutions for electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery manufacturing.

When completed, Li-Cycle’s Spoke 4 facility will have an initial capacity of up to 5,000 tonnes of battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries per year, bringing Li-Cycle’s total North American recycling capacity to 25,000 tonnes per year.

The Tuscaloosa site is also being developed to accommodate a second 5,000 tonne processing line, which would increase capacity at the Tuscaloosa site to 10,000 tonnes per year, and Li-Cycle’s total North American recycling capacity to 30,000 tonnes per year.

Operational by 2022

The Alabama Spoke is projected to commence operations by mid-2022 and is expected to create an initial 30 or more new jobs.

Spoke 4 is supported by Univar Solutions and their existing automotive customer base; the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA); the State of Alabama, including the Alabama Department of Commerce; and the Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Authority.

“We have a responsibility to not only manufacture vehicles and batteries, but to be good corporate citizens in the choices we make to protect our environment and the community around us,” said Michael Goebel, president and CEO, Mercedes-Benz, US International, Inc., which is working together with Univar Solutions on end-of-life solutions for lithium-ion batteries.

“We welcome the partnership between Univar Solutions and Li-Cycle and the strong commitment of our partners here in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to push a sustainable future for mobility.”

“Li-Cycle’s decision to locate in Alabama helps position our state on the leading edge as our industry enters the era of electric vehicle production,” said Ron Davis, President of the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA).

“With its innovative technology and process, Li-Cycle is bringing a capability that will offer the auto industry a solution to what will become an issue of critical importance. I am very excited to see Li-Cycle’s ground-breaking contributions to our growing Alabama automotive industry.”