Europe

Poland builds first recycling plant for car batteries with EU help

With the help of the European Union, Poland will become the site of the first facility in the EU for recycling both car batteries and other waste containing metals, in response to the rapid rise of electric vehicles.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide a loan of up to €25 million to Elemental Holding, which is a Polish company engaged in the collection and recycling of platinum-group metals and electrical waste, for a pioneering new facility to treat spent lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and other waste containing metals that are critical for e-mobility.

EBRD Manufacturing and Services Director Frederic Lucenet said this is an outstanding example of how new technology and progress with the green economy are working hand in hand. “The EBRD is actively supporting Poland’s ambitious agenda to become a low-carbon economy and has already financed several large e-mobility projects with domestic and foreign investors,” he said.

Elemental Holding Vice President Michal Zygmunt said the project reflects the strategy of Elemental Holding focusing on the recovery and refining of critical raw materials, with the application of low-carbon-footprint technology and innovations.

The facility entails the deployment of state-of-the art innovative technology supplemented and co-financed by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) with the support of the European Commission.

The plant will produce secondary metals and other materials that can be reused as raw materials for new batteries or other applications, providing an essential service in the lithium-ion batteries value chain, the EBRD said, adding that these batteries are a core component of electric vehicles, sales of which are forecast to overtake those of petrol- and diesel-powered cars as the transition to a low-carbon economy progresses.

According to the bank, the project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the circular economy in the e-mobility sector. The production and use of recycled batteries and metals can lead to carbon savings as high as 98 per cent compared to their primary counterparts, as well as to a more efficient use of scarce natural resources.

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