Canada-based Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. is building a new battery recycling facility in Tuscaloosa County Airport Industrial Park. The project is an investment of $18.7 million in land, building and equipment and is projected to create 78 jobs over the first three years of operation.
The Tuscaloosa facility is the fourth commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility for the company, with the other three located in Kingston, Ontario; Rochester, New York; and Gilbert, Arizona. The Tuscaloosa plant should be operational by mid-2022 and is expected to create an initial 30 jobs.
When completed the facility will have an initial capacity of up to 5,000 tons of battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries per year, bringing Li-Cycle’s total North American recycling capacity to 25,000 tons per year.
The Tuscaloosa plant is also being developed to accommodate a future, second 5,000-ton processing line, which would double the facility’s annual capacity.
“Our new facility in Alabama positions us well to meet the growing demand for lithium-ion battery recycling,” said Tim Johnston, co-founder and executive chairman of Li-Cycle. “Originally, we had planned on rolling out three commercial Spoke facilities in North America over the next five years, with a total recycling capacity of 20,000 tons per year. However, demand for lithium-ion battery recycling has continued to outperform our forecasts and we are now forecasting total recycling capacity of 30,000 tons per year. This facility is essential in filling a recycling gap in the southeastern United States. Like our Arizona Spoke, we expect the new facility to have the capability to process entire vehicle battery packs, without dismantling.”
The Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority approved a tax abatement package as part of the company’s investment. The company will receive an abatement of the non-educational sales and use taxes for purchases of equipment and building materials during the construction phase of the project and an abatement of the non-educational ad valorem taxes on real and personal property for up to five years. The estimated amount of eligible tax abatements is $1.2 million. During its first 10 years of operation, the project is estimated to contribute more than $1.2 million in tax revenue in non-abated taxes, including education taxes and from initial purchases. Over the next 20 years, TCIDA estimates the project will contribute more than $8.1 million in taxes generated from the company and direct employee spending.
“We are excited to be the future home to Li-Cycle’s first location in the southeastern United States,” said Mark Crews, TCIDA’s chairman. “Our region is centrally located to the automotive OEMs sited in Alabama and surrounding states and we welcome the introduction of a company that will support the development of electric vehicle manufacturing in our area.”
Tuscaloosa County-based Mercedes-Benz U.S. International President and CEO Michael Goebel said, “We have a responsibility to not only manufacture vehicles and batteries, but to be good corporate citizens in the choices we make to protect our environment and the community around us. We welcome the partnership between Univar Solutions and Li-Cycle and the strong commitment of our partners here in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to push a sustainable future mobility.”
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International is working with Univar Solutions on end-of-life solutions for lithium-ion batteries.
Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield said, “With EV production set to start in Alabama in 2022, Li-Cycle’s Tuscaloosa recycling facility will ensure that Alabama plays another important role in the lifecycle of batteries powering electric vehicles. This project addresses the battery repurposing proposition that must also be a part of the sustainability solution that EVs offer.”