Original article published in Empire State Development.
Sustainable Technology Company Will Set Up Commercial Scale Lithium-ion Battery Resource Recovery Plant at Eastman Business Park; Will Create a Minimum of 23 New Jobs
NYS Investment Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
January 14, 2020. Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Li-Cycle Corporation, a North America based lithium-ion battery resource recovery company, will establish its first US-based facility in New York State. The company will set up operations at Eastman Business Park (EBP) in Monroe County in an effort to tap into the robust lithium-ion battery supply chain in the United States and the lithium-ion battery ecosystem in Rochester. Li-Cycle selected EBP for this facility after determining it as the best location for the company to provide services to its growing client base to the South and Midwest. The company has also committed to creating a minimum of 23 jobs in its first year of operation. Li-Cycle expects to be fully operational at the facility later this year.
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “We are proud to reinforce our commitment to sustainable energy by investing in Li-Cycle’s lithium-ion battery recycling facility at Eastman Business Park, one of many forward-thinking projects that are further establishing New York State as a world leader in the sustainable technology industry and creating high-quality jobs in the Finger Lakes and beyond.”
ESD is assisting Li-Cycle with up to $450,000 through the Excelsior Jobs Program in exchange for job creation commitments. Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise are also assisting with the project. The total project cost has been placed at up to $23.3 million over a three-year period.
Founded in 2016 in Ontario, Canada, Li-Cycle was awarded a grant through Sustainable Development Technology Canada to construct a demonstration facility. With that facility fully operational, the company is now ready to undertake the first phase of its commercialization process at EBP. The company will initially occupy 57,000 square feet of a preexisting process building and is considering additional phases for the project in the coming years.
Ajay Kochhar, CEO and Co-Founder of Li-Cycle said, “As the United States and world enter an unprecedented phase of growth for electric vehicles and electro-mobility, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and the critical materials within them are crucial for the industry’s success. Li-Cycle is proud to be bringing our sustainable technologies and approaches to the EBP, as Li-Cycle’s first United States-based commercial facility. The facility will foster the development of closed loop lithium-ion battery resource recovery in the State of New York and the broader United States market. In turn, we are pleased to support the creation of high-quality jobs in the Finger Lakes region and look forward to our continued growth in the EBP.”
Since its inception, Li-Cycle has developed and validated a unique process that allows them to recover 80 to 100% of all materials found in lithium-ion batteries while maintaining no wastewater discharge and actualizing the company’s zero waste philosophy. All materials that are recovered from lithium-ion batteries are either processed to the point of being reusable in battery production, thus closing the loop, or sent for further processing to other recyclers (i.e., steel and plastics) to ensure all materials generated are being returned to the economy. The company is capable of processing all types of lithium-ion batteries used in electronic devices, e-mobility, electric vehicles and energy storage.
This project builds on the success story that is the rebirth of Eastman Business Park (EBP), where more than 6,000 people work at 114 companies now operating. Other sustainable Technology efforts at EBP aimed at growing the sustainable energy ecosystem include the BEST Test and Commercialization Center, the Kodak Cell Assembly Center and Plug Power. Other companies also thriving at EBP include DuPont, which recently opened the largest probiotics fermentation facility in the world, L3 Harris, LiDestri Food & Drink and Clearwater Organic Farms which will also open a state-of-the-art, commercial hydroponic greenhouse in the fall of 2020.
State Senator Joe Robach said, “Every great business started with an idea and an opportunity. Li-Cycle’s idea to tap into the lithium-ion battery supply chain is a forward thinking concept and a great fit for Eastman Business Park. This is investment by Empire State Development will benefit our local workforce and economy, something we can all be excited to see. I look forward to seeing Li-Cycle Corporation grow and succeed in Rochester.”
State Assembly member Jamie Romeo said, “I’m incredibly proud to welcome Li-Cycle to Rochester as they begin their US operations. Eastman Business Park offers unique and globally competitive infrastructure for lithium-ion battery operations, and this new business reflects our growing economic power on the national and international stage. This is a critical contribution to the growth of the Eastman Business Park as a regional economic powerhouse. We welcome Li-Cycle to the Rochester community and look forward to their growth and success in the years ahead.”
State Assemblyman Peter Lawrence said, “Today’s announcement is another welcome example that businesses are choosing Monroe County as their base of operation due to our highly-skilled workforce and turn-key infrastructure and facilities. Eastman Business Park could not be a more suitable and appropriate location for Li-Cycle Corporation which is leading the way in the sustainable energy industry. The significant investment of almost a half-million dollars by the state signals that this is a project with enormous potential and it is my expectation that Li-Cycle will honor its commitment to creating jobs in the region and reinvesting in our community.”
County Executive Adam Bello said, “The economy of the future will be grounded in innovation and sustainability, qualities embodied by Li-Cycle. I’m grateful for their partnership with ESD in bringing its first US based lithium-ion battery recycling center to Eastman Business Park. This is just the latest development to reinforce Monroe County’s expanding role as a home to the emerging technology industry.”
Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich said, “I’m happy to welcome another energy industry partner to Eastman Business Park in the Town of Greece. Li-Cycle’s innovative resource recovery technique is eco-friendly, safe, and represents a major advance in lithium battery recycling technology. Li-Cycle’s arrival is yet another example of how EBP’s focus on the energy storage industry sector is a success not only for Greece but for the entire region. Lithium ion battery use is increasing exponentially and Li-Cycle’s low impact recovery methods will safely deliver raw materials back into the manufacturing market, potentially supplying other energy storage industry partners right here in Eastman Business Park. Like the food and beverage industry in EBP, the energy storage industry here is growing organically and we are excited to welcome this new partner and the growth they will inevitably bring.”
Eastman Business Park President and Kodak CFO Dave Bullwinkle said, “We welcome Li-Cycle to the energy storage eco-system at Eastman Business Park. Li-Cycle’s battery content recovery operations are the perfect complement to Kodak’s battery coating and cell assembly services and the Best Test & Commercialization Center run by DNV-GL. Li-Cycle joins energy storage tenants including Plug Power, Nohms Technologies, Energy Materials Corporation and Graphenix Development, Inc. Li-Cycle operations will take advantage of the amazing utility and service infrastructure available at Eastman Business Park, reducing costs and speeding time to market.”
Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise said, “We’re delighted Li-Cycle plans to establish its first US-based lithium-ion battery recycling center in Rochester, NY, close to its corporate headquarters as well as customers. Li-Cycle’s game-changing technology will be well supported by the unique infrastructure and battery and energy storage expertise available at Eastman Business Park here in Rochester, NY.”
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $8.07 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.
Li-Cycle Corp. (Li-Cycle) is on a mission to leverage its innovative solution to address an emerging and urgent global challenge. Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are increasingly powering our world in automotive, industrial/utility/residential energy storage, and consumer electronic applications. The world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, and to meet the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.
Li-Cycle Technology™ is a low cost, safe, environmentally friendly process that can recycle all types of lithium-ion batteries. It can do so with an unparalleled recovery rate of up to 80-100% of all materials. The Company’s industry-leading processing technologies uniquely position it to support a key element of the growing international movement towards zero carbon technologies as part of the circular economy.