The Washington Post

$375 million loan for battery recycling plant


The Energy Department on Monday said it will lend Li- Cycle Holdings $375 million as it builds a battery recycling facility in New York set to become one of the country’s largest sources of lithium by next year.

The loan is the latest move by Washington to spur developmen­t of a domestic electric vehicle supply chain, with greater battery recycling capacity seen as crucial to meeting President Biden’s goal for half of new U.S. vehicles to be electric by 2030.

The loan, which was in review for more than a year, will have a 12-year term and an interest rate matching the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate when funds are issued, expected by July. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) had long advocated for Li- Cycle to receive the funding.

Li- Cycle’s Rochester, N.Y., processing facility is slated to open later this year at a cost of about $485 million. Li- Cycle, which counts mining giant Glencore as one of its largest shareholde­rs, has the funds to pay for the Rochester facility, so the loan will help the company expand elsewhere.

The company has developed a network of facilities in Arizona, Alabama and Ontario that produce black mass, which is essentiall­y shredded battery parts. The Rochester facility will break down that black mass into lithium and other metals.

Li- Cycle aims to produce 8,500 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year from the facility as it ramps up in 2024, in what would make it one of the largest U.S. sources of the battery metal.

The Energy Department in the past month has agreed to lend $2 billion to Li- Cycle peer Redwood Materials and $700 million to Ioneer’s Rhyolite Ridge lithium mining project.

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