E-waste company opens battery recycling plants in Singapore and France

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Singapore-based IT waste recycling company TES has opened two battery recycling facilities which, it claims, will enable it to offer the “highest commodity-grade recovery rates in the industry” for lithium and cobalt as well as copper and aluminum.

The recycling company also revealed plans to reuse spent electric vehicle (EV) batteries for commercial and residential energy storage applications.

The company announced yesterday it had invested “approximately $25 million” in battery recycling facilities in Singapore and in Grenoble, France. The press statement released did not spell out whether the investment figure related to Singaporean dollars – which would equate to US$18.4 million – or the U.S. currency. The company also failed to offer figures relating to the capacity of the two new assets: TES B, in Singapore, and Recupyl.

TES, which describes itself as “the largest e-waste [electronic waste] recycler in the world”, said its proprietary “hydrometallurgy” recycling system would use chemical treatment processes to recover lithium and cobalt after magnetic separation had sorted out copper and aluminum.

Light on detail

The press release did not state what volume of water would be required for the recycling process, nor whether the liquid could be reused to ensure a true circular economy approach. pv magazine has approached the company for more details.

The Singaporean business, which is backed by the Kuala Lumpur-based Navis Capital Partners investment fund, was more vague about its EV battery reuse plans – which it has called its Energy Storage System – saying only TES is working with “strategic partners” to roll out the service.

“Investing in technology that keeps TES at the forefront of the sustainability movement is in our DNA,” said CEO Gary Steele in the company press release. “Looking ahead, the battery space is potentially facing raw material commodity shortages stemming from the exponential proliferation of Internet of Things devices, electric vehicles and mobility devices. These real-world challenges need real-world solutions.

“Working in close partnership with the EDB (Singapore’s Economic Development Board) and the NEA (National Environment Agency) has enabled TES to develop an innovative battery recycling solution that further cements Singapore as being at the center of the future circular economy.”