Norwegian firm Hydro and Swedish company Northvolt have established a 50/50 joint venture to enable recycling of battery materials and aluminum from used electric vehicle battery packs.
Through Hydro Volt AS, the companies plan to build a battery recycling plant in Fredrikstad, Norway, with production expected to start next year.
A formal investment decision— estimated at around NOK 100 million ($10.5 million) on a 100% basis— in the recycling pilot plant is expected shortly.
Output from the planned battery recycling plant will include black mass and aluminum, which will be transported to Northvolt’s and Hydro’s plants, respectively.
Other products from the recycling process will be sold to scrap metal buyers and other off-takers.
The pilot recycling facility will be designed for crushing, sorting and processing more than 8,000 tonnes of batteries per year, with an option of expanding capacity later.
In a second phase, the battery recycling facility could handle a considerable share of the commercial volumes from lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicle fleet throughout Scandinavia.
A typical EV battery pack can contain more than 25% aluminium, equalling about 70-100 kg aluminium per pack.
The Norwegian company Batteriretur, located in Fredrikstad, will supply batteries to the recycling plant and is also planned as operator of the pilot plant.
Last December, battery manufacturer Northvolt announced it was aiming to build a pilot battery recycling plant at its gigafactory— which should begin manufacturing in 2022— in north Sweden.
The joint venture follows Hydro’s investment in Northvolt in 2019.
“Northvolt has set a target for 50% of our raw material in 2030 coming from recycled batteries. The partnership with Hydro is an important piece of the puzzle to secure an external feed of material before our own batteries begin reaching end-of-life and are returned back to us,” says Emma Nehrenheim, chief environmental officer responsible for the Revolt recycling business unit at Northvolt.