Li-Cycle inks agreement with Glencore for $75 million

Print More

Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. has entered an agreement with Glencore for a $75 million investment, building on a long-term partnership. Officials view the move as an endorsement of Li-Cycle’s technology and its development plans for the Rochester Hub.

Glencore is a Swiss producer, recycler and marketer of nickel and cobalt for the production of lithium-ion batteries.  Its investment in Li-Cycle also represents an interim step in Li-Cycle’s funding strategy to support its future plans, officials say.

Li-Cycle is in the process of a comprehensive review of its project at Eastman Business Park. The Mississauga, Ont.-based firm, which has had a presence in Rochester since 2020, last year announced a conditional commitment with the Energy Department for a loan of up to $375 million through the department’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program. However, escalating construction costs combined with delays in financing stalled plans for the Rochester hub.

“As part of our previously announced comprehensive review, Li-Cycle is continuing to review our global recycling network,” says Tim Johnston, co-founder and executive chairman of Li-Cycle. “We are also reviewing our go-forward strategy for the paused Rochester Hub, including analyzing potential end-product mix options and construction strategy.”

Li-Cycle operates on a spoke-and-hub business model, a vertically integrated, two-step lithium-ion battery recycling and resource recovery process. The model enables the return of battery materials back to the domestic supply chain for re-use by battery manufacturers and electric vehicle and energy storage producers for a circular economy.

The Rochester Hub is expected to be the first commercial hydrometallurgical resource recovery facility in North America. Its hydrometallurgical process produces no wastewater discharge, minimal solid waste streams and relatively low air emissions. The facility is expected to support the battery needs of approximately 203,000 electric vehicles annually and strengthen the domestic EV supply chain.

“We believe the demand for critical battery materials continues to accelerate and Li-Cycle continues to work to position itself as a future leader in the production of critical battery materials through our sustainable, safe, and patented recycling technology,” Johnston says.

In an update to the Rochester community, he and Ajay Kochhar, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle, said the company continues to work closely with the Department of Energny.

“We expect that our future Rochester Hub project will be a key part of our ability to help build a localized and circular battery material supply chain in North America. We deeply appreciate the Rochester community’s continued support and we thank you for your patience,” the letter reads.

In 2022, Glencore and Li-Cycle entered an agreement for a $200 investment in Li-Cycle. The agreement is expected to help Glencore as it established regional platforms worldwide to localize battery raw material supply chains in a scalable and sustainable way. With Li-Cycle, Glencore hopes to combine primary and recycled battery raw materials to produce battery grade end products, officials said at the time. Glencore is a battery feedstock partner for Li-Cycle’s spoke facilities, and a future supplier of materials and reagents for its hubs.

The latest investment from Glencore amplifies the previous partnership. Subject to closing conditions, the note purchase agreement is expected to close at the end of March.

Li-Cycle is expected to file its annual report this week.

Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *