Once operational in mid-2023, the plant will have a minimum processing capacity of 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries per year. This will include valuable battery manufacturing scrap, portable electronics batteries, and full EV packs.
Greenpeace data suggests that around 12.85 million tonnes of EV lithium-ion batteries will go offline between 2021 and 2030 and will therefore be available for recycling.
But right now, there are no substantial recycling facilities in the UK, according to the Faraday Institution.
This means UK manufacturers are currently exporting used batteries to European facilities for recycling.
Global chief operating officer at Britishvolt Timon Orlob commented: “Recycling is key to a successful energy transition and has always been a major part of Britishvolt’s business model.”
“We’ve been looking for the perfect partner to help kick start a UK battery recycling industry and FTSE100-listed Glencore has expert historical experience in recycling. This joint venture will help us both to create a truly sustainable battery value-chain, create jobs and develop new battery recycling technologies.”
Britishvolt’s advanced propulsion centre technology trends team has found that re-processing scrap from the scale up of UK gigafactories could generate up to 20,000 tonnes of cathode active materials that can then be reused, capable of making 7GWh of new batteries, equivalent to 100,000 cars.
Looking ahead to 2040, recycled battery waste from end-of-life vehicles could supply enough cathode materials to produce 60GWh of new batteries.
David Brocas, head cobalt trader at Glencore, said: “Glencore has decades of recycling experience across multiple disciplines (e-waste/copper scrap/battery). We believe the opportunity to utilise BRM’s operations as a cutting-edge battery recycling facility will help support the development of a UK battery recycling industry. It will also play a part in furthering the UK’s climate ambitions as well as Glencore’s as we work towards net zero total emissions by 2050.”