Swiss miner and commodities trader Glencore is joining forces with waste management services provider FCC Ámbito and Spanish energy firm Iberdrola to offer lithium-ion battery recycling services in Spain and Portugal.
The partners will build a recycling plant that will also offer second-life solutions for batteries, both from gigafactory production scrap and end-of-life batteries, Glencore said n the statement.
The companies said they have assessed existing battery recycling capabilities and feed availability in Spain and Portugal, but the location of their factory, to be run by FCC, is yet to be determined.
Kunal Sinha, Glencore’s global head of recycling, said the alliance supported the company’s ambition to grow its recycling business in new markets.
“We view production scrap as well as post-consumer materials as a valuable resource that will help supply the increasing demand for critical metals in support of the energy transition and the world’s net zero ambition,” Sinha said.
María J. Kaifer, technical director and head of circular economy at FCC said in a separate statement that the project would be run in collaboration with the Iberian Energy Storage Research Centre, which has already conducted research into the capabilities of existing battery recycling.
As demand for lithium batteries continues to increase, the need for recycling them is on the rise. The recycling of battery materials is expected to reach 35,000 tonnes annually in Spain by 2035, according to Iberdrola.
It is estimated that only 5%of the world’s lithium batteries are being recycled, with market analysts at Wood Mackenzie anticipating the sector will not take off before 2030.
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