Poland to build EU’s ‘first’ car battery recycling site in response to EV demand

Poland has received a loan of up to €25 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to build the first site in the EU for recycling both car batteries and other waste containing metals.

The EBRD financing for Polish resource management firm Elemental Holding will be part of a wider package raised to finance the construction of the facility in response to the rising demand for electric vehicles.

Frederic Lucenet, EBRD Director, Manufacturing and Services, said: “This is an outstanding example of how new technology and progress with the green economy are working hand in hand. The EBRD is actively supporting Poland’s ambitious agenda to become a low-carbon economy and has already financed several large e-mobility projects with domestic and foreign investors.”

Michal Zygmunt, Vice-President of Elemental Holding, added: “The project reflects the strategy of Elemental Holding focusing on the recovery and refining of critical raw materials, with the application of low-carbon-footprint technology and innovations.”

The facility entails the deployment of state-of-the art innovative technology supplemented and co-financed by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) with the support of the European Commission.

The plant will produce secondary metals and other materials that can be reused as raw materials for new batteries or other applications, providing an essential service in the lithium-ion batteries value chain. These batteries are a core component of electric vehicles, sales of which are forecast to overtake those of petrol- and diesel-powered cars as the transition to a low-carbon economy progresses.

Bidding to throw off its image as one of Europe’s big polluters, the project will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the circular economy in the e-mobility sector. The production and use of recycled batteries and metals can lead to carbon savings as high as 98% compared to their primary counterparts, as well as to a more efficient use of scarce natural resources.

The project benefited from technical cooperation support provided by the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund and Spain.

To date, the EBRD has invested €10.8 billion in 456 projects in Poland. The Bank is a leading investor in the renewables sector and has previously also co-financed two battery investments for electric vehicles in the country.