The first lithium battery recycling company for electric cars on the Iberian Peninsula, Novolitio, is already in the development process.
The Urbaser Group and Endesa are responsible for carrying out this project, with an investment of 14 million euros allocated to the plant located in Cubillos del Sil, in the El Bierzo region, Castilla y León, Spain.
As Toni Massot, Project Manager, reveals to Mobility Portal España during the CEVE2023 event: “The plant will have a maximum production capacity of 25,000 tons per year.”
Additionally, it will generate approximately 50 direct jobs for its operation.
The plant is expected to be operational by mid-2025.
The project focuses on recycling batteries from various vehicles, such as cars, scooters, trucks, among others, once they can no longer be given a second life.
In this way, it will recycle non-usable batteries nationally, rather than sending them abroad, as is currently the case.
These batteries may be composed of materials such as aluminum, copper, and plastics, including the “black mass,” representing the metal-rich fraction with strategic value in Europe, such as cobalt and nickel.
In this regard, Novolitio addresses the need for a circular economy solution for the recovery and recycling of lithium battery components from electric vehicles.
For those that cannot be reused, a component extraction process will take place, valorizing nearly 90% of the total.
This will provide the opportunity to use them as energy storage systems, either in domestic self-consumption installations or in larger-scale establishments.
“We are working on this project to provide a solution to both Spain and Portugal,” Massot details.
This plant is part of Endesa’s Futur-e plan, which aims to generate new industrial economic activity in El Bierzo.
The future facility, covering an area of 15,000 square meters, will be equipped with the most advanced industrial technology.
This has been made possible through a Research and Development (R&D) program that has facilitated improvements in various solutions related to the extraction, diagnosis, discharge, and recycling of battery components.
About the partners in this battery project
Urbaser, the group to which Massot belongs, will participate in this initiative through Sertego, its subsidiary specialized in the comprehensive and sustainable management of industrial waste.
Sertego is a leading environmental management company, present in 21 countries, specializing in the collection, storage, and treatment of waste.
Its responsibility will include managing the 20 collection facilities from which electric vehicle batteries will be supplied to be processed at the plant in Cubillos del Sil.
Additionally, it will oversee their operations and maintenance.
Endesa, as the project’s development leader, will contribute its experience in management and specialized knowledge in the field of eMobility.
It is noteworthy that this plan aligns with the new regulation proposed by the European Commission for the manufacturing, design, and recycling of all batteries marketed in the EU.
One of the fundamental objectives of this regulation is to promote the creation of a circular economy around this emerging industry.
This battery passport seeks to anticipate the implications that the new requirements will have for electric vehicle manufacturers, industrial battery producers, and manufacturers of batteries for light transport.
“This regulation helps ensure that this project can be carried out in the coming years,” emphasizes Massot.