COVINGTON, Ga. — State and local officials helped Ascend Elements celebrate the ceremonial grand opening of the company’s first commercial-scale lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Covington Wednesday, March 29.
The 150,000-square-foot facility at 9176 Industrial Drive NE in Covington is North America’s largest electric vehicle battery recycling facility, company officials said.
The plant represents a $50 million investment. The ultra-clean and efficient facility is powered by renewable energy and features onsite wastewater recycling and treatment systems. It employs about 100 with plans to increase headcount to 185 by 2024, officials said.
Ascend Elements works with electric vehicle manufacturers and battery manufacturers to recycle used batteries and manufacturing scrap.
Ascend Elements CEO Mike O’Kronley said, “This (Covington) facility is an important part of America’s EV battery infrastructure, and this is just the start.”
“As an industry, we need to continue building our closed-loop battery materials supply chain to make electric vehicle batteries cleaner and more sustainable,” he said.
The facility, known as Base 1, began partial operations in August under the company’s former name of Battery Resourcers. It subsequently changed its name to Ascend Elements.
It can process up to 30,000 metric tons of used lithium-ion batteries and manufacturing scrap per year — the amount needed to assemble about 70,000 electric vehicle batteries per year.
The recycling process recovers up to 98% of the critical battery metals in used electric vehicle batteries and scrap, including nickel, cobalt, manganese, and lithium.
“By recycling used lithium-ion batteries and scrap, Ascend Elements can reduce the carbon footprint of new electric vehicle battery cathode materials by up to 90%,” the release stated.
Ascend’s recycling process also produces up to 90% lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional cathode manufacturing methods; has zero landfill waste and wastewater discharge, the release stated.
After a ribbon cutting for the facility, Ascend officials hosted a tour of the plant.
Ascend, founded in 2015, is based in Westborough, Massachusetts. It is a provider of sustainable, closed-loop battery material solutions from EV battery recycling to commercial-scale productions of lithium-ion battery precursor (pCAM) and cathode active materials.
Major brand investors of Battery Resourcers included Jaguar Land Rover, Orbia, TDK, TRUMPF Group, Doral Energy and Hitachi.