Britishvolt to build UK battery recycling ecosystem

Britishvolt and Glencore are to develop a ecosystem for battery recycling in the UK, anchored at a new recycling plant located at Glencore’s Britannia Refined Metals operation in Northfleet.

The aim is to help support the creation of a genuinely circular economy that supplies recycled materials and minerals back into the battery supply chain. Once complete, the plant will have a processing capacity of a minimum of 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries per year, including but not limited to valuable battery manufacturing scrap, portable electronics batteries and full EV packs. The facility will process all Britishvolt’s valuable battery manufacturing scrap from their Gigafactory in Blyth.

The plant will also allow Britishvolt to assist its OEM customers on their path to sustainability, by offering hedging opportunities against swings in raw materials prices.

The facility is expected to be operational by mid- 2023 with the long-term aim of being 100 per cent powered by renewable energy. The partnership will also look to develop other recycling activities such as black mass refining into battery grade raw materials.

According to the Faraday Institution although large amounts of lithium-ion battery packs will be available for recycling from around 2028, there are no substantial recycling facilities currently in the UK. Many UK manufacturers currently export used batteries to European facilities for recycling. Greenpeace data also suggests that around 12.85 million tonnes of EV lithium-ion batteries will go offline between 2021 and 2030. End of life EV batteries will become a valuable part of the battery supply chain and could further the creation of high-tech UK jobs.

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