SK ecoplant ties up with China's CNGR to tap Europe's waste battery recycling market

By Lim Chang-won Posted : September 29, 2022, 16:19 Updated : September 29, 2022, 16:19

[Courtesy of SK ecoplant]

SEOUL -- SK ecoplant, an environmental and energy solution provider affiliated with South Korea's SK Group, tied up with CNGR Advanced Material, a Chinese producer of lithium battery cathode material precursors, to tap Europe's waste battery recycling market.  

Under a collaboration agreement, SK ecoplant and CNGR would join forces to recycle waste batteries and revitalize the supply of raw battery materials such as nickel and cobalt, establish a European base, and seek new business opportunities. SK ecoplant aims to complete a closed loop that injects rare metals recovered from waste batteries back into battery manufacturing.

Through cooperation with CNGR, SK ecoplant hopes to expand a battery industry value chain by supplying and utilizing rare metals recovered from waste batteries. "Cooperation with CNGR, the world's No. 1 precursor company for cathode materials, will be the cornerstone for completing the battery ecosystem," CEO Park Kyung-il said in a statement on September 29.  

Once a battery reaches the end of its useful life, the battery pack can be collected, dismantled, and shredded to produce black mass, which consists of high amounts of lithium, manganese, cobalt, and nickel metals. Critical materials can be extracted from the black mass and reused in new battery production.

 SK ecoplant has strengthened its presence in the recycling of discarded electrical or electronic devices such as waste electric vehicle batteries. The company has acquired 100 percent of TES Envirocorp, a Singapore-based provider of synchronized E-waste management solutions, for about $1.0 billion.

Four weeks ago, SK ecoplant became the largest shareholder of Ascend Elements, an innovative U.S. waste battery recycling company, through a stock purchase agreement of $50 million. Ascend Elements has efficient technologies to extract rare metals individually from waste batteries, remove impurities from waste batteries, and produce precursors directly through coprecipitation.
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