Li-Cycle expands to Rochester

Why ROC

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The resource recovery company Li-Cycle is moving forward with a planned expansion into Rochester despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tim Johnston, the Co-founder and Executive Chairman for Li-Cycle, discussed his company’s core business and expansion plans Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.

Li-Cycle was founded in 2016 by Johnston and Co-founder Ajay Kochhar with a focus on revolutionary technology for resource recovery of spent lithium-ion batteries. “Li-Cycle has developed and validated a unique process that enable us to recover ≥95% of all materials found in lithium-ion batteries,” said Johnston. “We are capable of processing all types of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in electronic devices, e-mobility, electric vehicles and energy storage.
Li-Cycle Technology™ is a two-stage resource recovery process that uses a combination of a mechanical safe size reduction or ‘spoke’ process and a hydrometallurgical or ‘hub’ process to safely and sustainability recover the resources from all types of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries. As announced earlier this year, we are currently in progress of constructing Commercial Spoke 2 in Rochester. The plant is expecting to be fully operational by end of the year, with a processing capacity of 5,000 tonnes/ year of spent lithium-ion batteries.”

The new announced processing facility in Rochester is Li-Cycle’s first Commercial Hub in North America that will come online in 2022 with the capability of processing material from an equivalent of 60,000 metric tonnes of spent lithium-ion batteries, roughly equating to 120,000 electric vehicle battery packs. “To successfully scale-up operations in Rochester, we are looking to fill numerous roles across all of Li-Cycle’s disciplines such as Plant Operations, Warehouse Operations, Administrator roles,” noted Johnston.

Li-Cycle is headquartered in Canada and went through a thorough vetting process before choosing to expand in Rochester. “Li-Cycle conducted a comprehensive site screening study based on a set of criteria, including but not limited to, site services, economic incentives, and proximity to battery supply to determine the optimal location for its first commercial Hub facility in North America,” Johnston said. “The results of the study led to the Eastman Business Park in Rochester being selected as Li-Cycle’s commercial sites in the United States. The EBP is well equipped and offers a number of services, such as on demand utilities and on-site analytical labs, that make it an advantageous location for the nature of business conducted by Li-Cycle. EBP itself is also putting its best efforts forward to foster the sustainable energy ecosystem in the region, which aligns well with Li-Cycle’s vision to create a robust lithium-ion battery circular economy within Rochester. Further, this centralized Hub locating in upstate New York provides good access process the output from multiple Spokes. The core benefit of this approach is the generation of a non-hazardous product close to the point of consolidation, minimizing transportation liability and cost to the greatest extent.”

Johnston also noted access to top talent from local colleges and universities and smooth collaboration and support from government and other agencies including Greater Rochester Enterprise.

For more information about Li-Cycle and career opportunities, visit Li-Cycle.com.

For more information about Greater Rochester Enterprise, visit RochesterBiz.com.

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