SK Ecoplant completes battery recycling plant in China

2023. 12. 13. 14:41
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SK Ecoplant CEO Park Kyung-il (center left), TES CEO Terence Ng (third from left), and ZCycle CEO Tan Bing (fourth from left) and some 80 officials celebrate the completion of a battery recycling plant at Yancheng, Jiangsu province, China, Tuesday. (SK Ecoplant)

South Korean energy and environmental solutions provider SK Ecoplant has completed the construction of a new battery recycling plant in eastern China together with its e-waste recycling subsidiary TES, the company said Wednesday.

It comes after SK Ecoplant’s Nanjing subsidiary and the local battery recycling joint venture ZCycle joined forces in April to build a pretreatment facility in Yancheng, Jiangsu province. ZCycle is a joint venture established in 2019, under the partnership between TES and Zhong Yi, a Chinese investment firm specializing in new energy projects.

Jiangsu is a strategically important location in the global electric vehicle battery industry. As of 2022, some 10 manufacturing plants of global EV battery suppliers, including the world’s top EV maker BYD, are located in the industrial province, according to market tracker SNE Research.

There, SK Ecoplant aims to secure enough feedstock supply for battery recycling with the new pretreatment facility.

Located on an 8,000-square-meter site, the first unit of its pretreatment factory completed in December can produce 1,814 metric tons of "black mass," a powder consisting of high amounts of lithium, cobalt, and nickel metals, per year. Once the second unit is completed by the end of 2024, the two pretreatment plants will annually produce a total of 3,628 tons of black mass, the company added.

In the pretreatment stage of battery recycling, the plant first collects and extracts battery scrap -- used or faulty batteries -- generated from battery production, used EV batteries, and recalled batteries. It then safely dismantles and shreds them to produce black mass. Critical materials -- lithium, manganese, cobalt and nickel metals -- can then be extracted from the black mass and recycled after post-processing.

The completion of this factory is also expected to bring synergies with the post-treatment facility operating in Shanghai under ZCycle, the company added.

“The Yancheng battery recycling plant is the result of SK Ecoplant’s innovative and eco-friendly solutions and ZCycle’s cutting-edge battery recycling technology,” said SK Ecoplant CEO Park Kyung-il.

“Buoyed by our global network, we will boost our competitiveness and leadership in the battery recycling market.”

By Mun So-jeong(

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