Canadian battery recycling specialist Li-Cycle will soon open its fourth lithium-ion battery recycle plant in Alabama. The plant will be known as ‘Commercial Spoke 4’ and will be located in the city of Tuscaloosa. 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 in advanced execution stages).

According to Li-Cycle, 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 Solutions as an anchor battery feed supply customer for Li-Cycle in Alabama

US chemistry company Univar Solutions 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. 

This facility is essential in filling a recycling gap in the southeastern United States.  Like our Arizona Spoke, we expect the new facility to have the capability to process entire vehicle battery packs, without dismantling

Tim Johnston, Co-founder, and Executive Chairman of Li-Cycle

The new plant 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 future, 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. The decision to build a new site is due to the fact that the pace of deployment of new battery mega-factories far exceeding initial expectations.

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Backed by Mercedes-Benz

«Our new facility in Alabama positions us well to meet the growing demand for lithium-ion battery recycling», said Tim Johnston, Co-founder, and Executive Chairman of Li-Cycle. «Originally, we had planned on rolling out three commercial Spoke facilities in North America over the next five years, with a total recycling capacity of 20,000 tonnes per year. However, demand for lithium-ion battery recycling has continued to outperform our forecasts and we are now forecasting total recycling capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year».

«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. (MBUSI), 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».


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