On July 26, the Korean electric vehicle battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution announced that it would establish a battery recycling joint venture in China with the Chinese new energy Li-ion battery material research and development manufacturer, Huayou Cobalt. LG said that the company and Huayou will work out the terms and other details of the agreement to establish a joint venture before the end of this year.
The joint venture will use the infrastructure of Huayou Cobalt to extract nickel, cobalt and lithium from waste batteries and then supply them to the Nanjing Factory of LG Energy Solution. A post-treatment plant for processing recycled metals will be built in Quzhou, Zhejiang Province, where Huayou Cobalt operates.
Previously, LG Energy Solution had a similar partnership with Li-Cycle, a lithium battery recycling company. The two reached an agreement at the end of 2021 wherein LG Chem and its battery subsidiary LG Energy Solution agreed to purchase 20,000 tons of battery-grade nickel materials from Li-Cycle, while LG Energy Solution also sold nickel-containing lithium battery waste and other materials to Li-Cycle.
The LG and Huayou partnership has been around for quite some time. The recycling business of Zhejiang Huayou Recycling Technology Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Huayou Cobalt, has developed into a mature company unto its own, in which BMW Group have also invested money.
LG Energy Solution is striving to establish a stable supply chain of raw materials. Young Soo Kwon, CEO of the company, said: “In order to achieve a sustainable and stable battery supply chain, it is necessary to establish a complete system of resources to manage the whole battery life cycle, so that we can further strengthen the stability and cost competitiveness of raw material supply.”
At present, the leading enterprises in the domestic battery recycling industry can be divided into three categories: third-party enterprises, lithium battery materials companies and battery factories. The cooperation between China’s battery industry chain has been shown in many leading enterprises, and more and more car companies will participate in the mode of “cooperative alliance” with the opening of a cascade utilization market.