Huayou Recycling, Tozero announce European battery recycling partnership

Battery recyclers Huayou Recycling, of China, and Tozero, of Germany, have announced an agreement in which they will partner on the supply and processing of battery scrap in Europe, Fastmarkets has learned

Tozero announced on November 17 that under the agreement Huayou Recycling, part of battery materials producer Huayou Cobalt, will supply Tozero with battery waste from both end-of-life electric vehicle (EV) batteries and battery production scrap.

Tozero will process this waste at its recycling plant in Munich, Germany, which started operations in April this year, to recover all critical raw materials required for the production of new batteries, such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite.

“If we manage to properly recycle locally accumulated battery waste, we can easily contribute beyond 50% of Europe’s demand on lithium – the white gold – locally by 2040,” Sarah Fleischer, Tozero co-founder and chief executive officer, said.

The venture is the latest in a string of Asian battery companies investing in the European market. This week, South Korean companies SK Ecoplant, TES and Ecopro announced plans to build a battery recycling plant in Hungary.

And Huayou Cobalt, the parent company of Huayou Recycling, has allocated €1.5 billion ($1.64 billion) to establish its first European cathode active material (CAM) production facility in Hungary to serve European customers.

“Current market projections indicate a monumental twenty-fold increase in lithium-ion battery production by 2030 [in Europe], accompanied by a daunting 740% surge in battery waste from 2022 to 2030,” the Tozero announcement said.

“Anticipated global lithium shortages of 52% by 2030…necessitate the European battery industry to seek alternative local sources of critical raw materials to maintain production targets,” the announcement continued.

Tozero claimed that, by 2027, it would operate Europe’s largest battery recycling facility, with an annual capacity to recycle 90,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries, producing up to 6,000 tonnes of locally sourced lithium.

Fastmarkets’ assessment of the black mass, NCM/NCA, payable indicator, nickel, domestic, exw Europe, % payable LME nickel cash official price was 55-60% on November 22, unchanged week on week.

The corresponding assessment of the black mass, NCM/NCA payable indicator, cobalt, domestic, exw Europe, % payable Fastmarkets’ standard-grade cobalt price (low-end) was also 55-60% on the same day, also unchanged week on week.

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