Li-Cycle, the Toronto-based lithium-ion battery resource recovery company, has announced it will pause all construction work on its new recycling hub in Rochester, NY. The reason is that escalating construction costs will exceed the previously disclosed guidance.
The Rochester hub is expected to be the first commercial hydrometallurgical battery material recovery facility in North America. In the two-step process nickel sulphate, cobalt sulphate, manganese carbonate and lithium carbonate will be recovered from the black mass. The new factory will use Li-Cycle’s proprietary technology to minimise wastewater and air emissions.
The company said its board of directors decided to pause all activities, pending a review of the project. This includes an evaluation of the phasing of its scope and budget, including construction strategy.
Li-Cycle continues to talk to the US Department of Energy with respect to the previously announced $375 million loan commitment.
“Engineering and procurement for the project are largely complete, with the current focus being on construction activities on site,” the company said in a statement. The Energy Department said the Li-Cycle loan is still in the conditional phase and no money has yet been distributed.
Vinnie Esposito, Senior Vice President for Regional Economic Development in New York state, said that the Li-Cycle announcement pausing construction “was surprising to a lot of us.”
Li-Cycle shares fell 49% on the announcement on the New York Stock Exchange.