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Li-Cycle announces Kion partnership, new facility in France

Andreas Krinninger, a member of the Kion Group's executive board, and Elewout Depicker, Li-Cycle Corp.'s vice-president of commercial and corporate development EMEA, sign the battery recycling partnership. (Courtesy Business Wire)

Li-Cycle Holdings Corp., a Toronto-based battery recycler, has announced a lithium-ion battery recycling partnership with German industrial equipment firm Kion Group and a plan for a separate new facility in France to further its European expansion.

This morning's announcement says the partnership between Frankfurt-based Kion (KIGRY) and Li-Cycle (LICY-N) will entail Li-Cycle recycling lithium-ion batteries from Kion vehicles until 2030, with Li-Cycle designated as Kion’s preferred global recycling partner.

Li-Cycle has developed a recycling process it says can recover up to 95 per cent of the waste materials from used lithium-ion batteries while producing 70 per cent less carbon emissions compared to traditional battery recycling.

Kion has a global fleet of more than 1.7 million forklift trucks and warehouse equipment, with some powered by batteries. It has set a goal of increasing its share of electric-powered vehicles sold annually to 90 per cent according to a 2021 sustainability report.

Tim Johnston, co-founder and executive chair of Li-Cycle, said, “Li-Cycle is excited to be designated as Kion’s preferred global recycling partner, as we continue to grow and diversify our customer portfolio to advance our expansion plans in Europe and help drive a sustainable and localized battery ecosystem,” in the release.

Further expansion in Europe

Li-Cycle also unveiled its plan to develop a new recycling facility in Harnes, France, located in northern France close to Belgium.

The Canadian company says the French facility is “underpinned by regional commercial demand, including Kion’s lithium-ion battery recycling needs.”

Harnes, the release says, is where large global automotive original equipment manufacturers have an established presence.

The Harnes facility is the ‘Spoke’ in the company’s ‘Hub & Spoke’ model, in which the Spokes process the battery materials and the Hubs processes them into battery-grade end products.

The battery recycling facility will be constructed in an existing building site with access to renewable energy.

Li-Cycle anticipates an initial processing capacity up to 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery material per year and the option to expand up to 25,000 tonnes per year.

The facility is expected to be operational in 2024 and intended to directly process full electric vehicle and energy storage battery packs without any manual dismantling.

“As we advance the deployment of our highly replicable and proven Spoke & Hub model into the European market, our Spoke in France will better position us to support Kion and the accelerating market growth in the country,” Johnston said.

There was no cost figure provided in the article.

Li-Cycle’s global growth

Li-Cycle has been making strides in recent years by expanding the number of its facilities and recycling capacity worldwide.

In Europe, Li-Cycle intends to build facilities in Germany and Norway, with a recycling capacity up to 30,000 tonnes and 10,000 tonnes per year, respectively.

Its North American recycling facilities are in Kingston, Ont., Ohio, Arizona, Alabama and Rochester, N.Y.

Upon the operation of its Harnes location, Li-Cycle says it will have grown its spoke network to more than 100,000 tonnes of battery recycling capacity per year.

Editor's note: Li-Cycle was mistakenly said to be based in Mississauga. We regret the error.

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