Stelco to begin car battery recycling

Steel-maker Stelco will commercialize electric vehicle battery recycling and processing technologies.

The company will work with Primobius GmbH to commercialize Primobius’s proprietary electric vehicle battery recycling and processing technologies in North America.

Under the licensing agreement Stelco will advance commercial lithium-ion battery feedstock sourcing agreements and commence engineering and approvals processes.

The option agreement grants Primobius the right to acquire between 25% and 50% equity in Stelco’s wholly owned subsidiary performing these activities. If not exercised by Primobius, Stelco will have the exclusive rights to utilize Primobius’s proprietary technology in Canada, the United States and Mexico to recycle lithium-ion batteries removed from end-of-life electric vehicles, and Primobius will be entitled to a gross revenue royalty.

The proposed 20,000-net ton per year integrated shredding and hydrometallurgical refinery at its Lake Erie Works will produce up to 18,400 net tons per year of nickel, manganese and cobalt sulphates, and lithium hydroxide and carbonate, and is also expected to generate up to 40,000 net tons per year of scrap steel that will be recycled into Stelco’s steelmaking operations.

The plant will help meet the need for multiple large recycling facilities to manage significant anticipated volumes from end-of-life electric vehicle batteries and provide Stelco with the opportunity to build additional processing facilities across North America.

Capital costs of the plant will ultimately be based on detailed engineering studies expected to be completed in mid-2022 and are not expected to be material for the initial planning and development stages.

“After an extensive search for best-in-class technologies worldwide, including a detailed review of Primobius’s newly commissioned and operational demonstration plant in Hilchenbach, Germany, Stelco has reached an agreement that will enable Stelco to create a closed loop system of auto recycling and provision of green steel and battery metals back to its automotive OEM customers,” said Stelco executive chairman and CEO, Alan Kestenbaum.

Kestenbaum added being able to recycle EVs will allow Stelco to partner with automotive OEMs, particularly those pursuing electric vehicle strategies.

Stelco produces flat-rolled steels, including coated, cold-rolled and hot-rolled sheet products, as well as pig iron and metallurgical coke. It supplies the construction, automotive, energy, appliance, and pipe and tube industries across Canada and the United States as well as to a variety of steel service centres, which are distributors of steel products.