Li-Cycle ‘pauses’ NY recycling project, stays silent on future of lead processing in Italy

Li-Cycle ‘pauses’ NY recycling project, stays silent on future of lead processing in Italy

Li-Cycle ‘pauses’ NY recycling project, stays silent on future of lead processing in Italy 1002 635 Energy Storage Journal

October 26, 2023: Li-Cycle has suspended construction work at its planned New York lithium battery recycling hub and is reviewing the project’s costs, the company said on October 23.

The company declined to say whether it is also reviewing other projects — including plans for a recycling joint venture at Glencore’s existing Portovesme lead and zinc processing plant in Italy.

The Rochester hub, which would take materials from the firm’s spoke facilities, had been scheduled for start-up by the end of this year.

Spoke facilities are where all types of lithium ion batteries are transformed from a charged state to what Li-Cycle describes as an inert product. The resulting black mass is then transferred to a hub, where cathode and anode materials are processed into battery grade end-products for reuse in battery production or other applications.

However, Li-Cycle says it has “paused work for a comprehensive review of the go-forward strategy” at Rochester including costs.

The company will give an update when it announces third-quarter results on November 13.

Li-Cycle and Glencore have failed to respond to questions from ESJ and Batteries International about whether Portovesme’s lead and zinc operations could be replaced by lithium recycling, or whether the Rochester review could affect plans for the Italian project.

Meanwhile, Li-Cycle said it is working closely with the US Department of Energy, which promised a $375 million loan for Rochester in February.

In August, Li-Cycle announced the start-up of its first European lithium ion spoke plant in Germany.

The company said then that black mass produced at the plant was set to be processed at Portovesme.