The UK’s largest planned EV battery recycling facility has selected Teesside to set up a multi-million pound factory.
Global firm Altilium Metals would transform battery waste from more than 150,000 electric vehicles into ‘Cathode Active Material’ – a key component of new batteries.
Its mega-recycling plant would create 100 to 200 high value jobs by 2025 and hundreds more during its construction – with a projected 18-month build to get the facility up and running.
Altilium Metals recently secured £3million in UK Government innovation funding to scale up its process to extract the metals from spent batteries, supporting an EV supply chain and circular economy.
This, in turn, is expected to significantly improve the carbon footprint of the products and bring down the manufacturing costs.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Electric vehicles have a big role to play to our low-carbon future, but there are still significant advances that need to be made to ensure their production is as clean and efficient as possible.
“Altilium Metals’ recycling technology can help play a massive part in this and I’m delighted to learn of its plans to come to our region. We’re seeing a lot of activity in EV innovation here, with other plans for lithium plants for battery production moving on swiftly.
“This latest announcement will help cement our expertise and status as a fantastic place to do business, helping to attract more ground-breaking firms in the cleaner, safer and healthier industries of tomorrow, while creating hundreds more good-quality, well-paid jobs.”
The plant will be designed by Canadian engineering company Hatch – a top 20 international design firm – with decision on the final location for the Teesside site expected to be made early in 2023.
With the UK banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars in 2030, it is estimated that EV use could generate more than 11million tonnes of battery waste annually by the end of the decade – enough to fill Wembley Stadium almost 20 times every year.
Kamran Mahdavi, CEO, Altilium Metals, said: “We are excited to announce Teesside as the preferred location for Altilium Metal’s first UK recycling plant, as we scale up our technology to help meet the growing demand for critical metals and move towards a circular economy for the battery value chain. The significant volume of end-of-life batteries and scrap from giga-factories expected in the UK requires mega-scale recycling solutions and we look forward to demonstrating the process at scale here on Teesside.
“Until recently, lithium-ion batteries were regarded as hazardous waste, but they can actually serve as valuable sources of raw materials – such as lithium, nickel and cobalt. “Recycling, or “urban mining”, will play an important role in making sure these valuable metals are returned to the supply chain in the most environmentally friendly way, rather than ending up as landfill waste.”