Stelco, a Canadian steel company, has announced plans to recycle end-of-life EV and lithium-ion batteries at its factory in Ontario. Stelco will be using proprietary technology from a joint venture of German and Australian metal companies Primobius GmbH and Neometels Ltd. Stelco negotiated binding licenses and option agreements with the two companies. Neometelrs currently uses the technology at its facility in Hilchenbach, Germany, and can process 4,000 net tons per year.
Stelco will recover up to 18,400 tons of nickel, manganese and cobalt sulfates, lithium hydroxide, and carbonate annually from batteries. It will also recover up to 40,000 net tons of scrap steel from the vehicles. It has a goal of starting its initial operations next year.
In the agreement, Primobius will be able to acquire 25–50% of Stelco’s recycling operation, and if it chooses not to, Stelco will retain the exclusive rights to recycle lithium-ion batteries in all of North America using the technology and paying Primobius a royalty from the gross revenue.
Alan Kestenbaum, Stelco’s CEO, explained that an integrated shredding and hydrometallurgical refinery the company is proposing would enable it to create a closed-loop system of auto recycling and provision of green steel and battery metals back to the automakers’ customers. The proposed refinery would be at its Lake Erie Works in Nanticoke near Hamilton and Port Dover.
Stelco plans to become a leader in the lithium-ion battery recycling sector in North America and may even build additional processing plants all across the continent. These plants would help the company meet the need to “manage significant anticipated volumes from end-of-life electric vehicle batteries originating from the world’s fastest-growing cell-making region.”
In his full statement, Kestenbaum said:
“Stelco is thrilled to partner with Primobius. After an extensive search for best-in-class technologies worldwide, including a detailed review of Primobius’s newly commissioned and operational demonstration plant in Hilchenbach, Germany on the premises of leading engineering firm SMS, Stelco has reached an agreement that will enable Stelco to create a closed-loop system of auto recycling and provision of green steel and battery metals back to its automotive OEM customers.
“With this novel approach, Stelco is uniquely positioned to provide the highest quality automotive steels available in North America as well as a greater value proposition to its customers.
“By providing this service, Stelco will be able to recycle end-of-life electric vehicles, convert them into green steel and recover from their batteries high purity metals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese. The synergies obtained by joining the leading engineering company in the world with the leading battery metals technology company and with our state-of-the-art steelmaking capabilities position Stelco as the best-in-class partner to automotive OEMs, particularly those pursuing electric vehicle strategies.”
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