Li-Cycle lands US$375 million loan from US DOE

Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. will be taking a US$375 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The loan, which comes under DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program, will be used to support LiCycle’s Rochester, New York, battery recycling hub.

The commitment follows extensive DOE technical, market, financial and legal due diligence and marks another milestone in Li-Cycle’s development of the commercial hydrometallurgical resource recovery facility. The Rochester Hub is expected to become a significant domestic source of battery-grade materials, including lithium, nickel and cobalt, and will be the first-of-its-kind commercial facility in North America.

This is the first conditional commitment from the DOE ATVM program for a sustainable pure-play battery materials recycling company and is the program’s main support for the lithium-ion battery recycling industry.

The loan remains subject to documentation of long-form agreements and certain conditions will have to be satisfied prior to closing, which is currently expected to occur in the second quarter of 2023. The loan will have a term of up to 12 years, and interest will be the 10-year U.S. Treasury Rates.

“We are delighted to receive the first conditional commitment from the DOE for a resource recovery facility, as it further supports our efforts to create a sustainable domestic supply chain of battery-grade materials in the U.S. and to grow American jobs,” said Ajay Kochhar, Li-Cycle co-founder, president and CEO.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said the facility will reduce US reliance on China and strengthen the American battery supply chain. “Once the facility is at full steam, it is projected to be the biggest source of lithium carbonate in the United States. That means the heart of hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles, which will soon dominate our roads, will be made with battery components from right here in Rochester,” Schumer said at an event held at the construction site.

The Rochester Hub is designed to have a processing capacity of up to 35,000 tonnes of black mass per year, which is equivalent to approximately 90,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery material or 18 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of lithium-ion batteries. Once fully operational, the Rochester Hub is expected to deliver annual production of up to 8,500 tonnes of lithium carbonate, 48,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate, and 7,500 tonnes of cobalt sulphate.