Cirba Solutions, through its affiliate Heritage Battery Recycling, has announced plans to open a lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Eloy, a project expected to create 75 construction jobs and 110 permanent jobs and supply critical materials for electric vehicle batteries.
The company has six existing locations, including one in Mesa, and plans to expand an existing building near Battaglia Road and Frontier Street to create a 75,000-square-foot facility that will process lithium-ion end-of-life batteries and battery manufacturing scrap, the Arizona Commerce Authority said in late September.
Additional services will include disassembly, sorting, warehousing and diagnostic testing. The Eloy facility will provide battery-grade salts for new cathode and battery manufacturing, such as nickel, cobalt, manganese and lithium.
“Eloy is pleased to welcome Cirba Solutions to our community,” Eloy Mayor Micah Powell said. “The investment and new jobs fit nicely into Eloy’s ongoing plan to attract quality employers to our community. As has been said, a rising tide raises all boats, and in economic development that means supplier and support industries such as Cirba Solutions.”
The plant is expected to open mid-2023 and process enough materials to support up to 50,000 electric vehicles. With the number of EVs on U.S. roads expected to accelerate from about 2 million today to 26 million in 2030, as projected by the Edison Electric Institute, securing the materials needed for batteries and other internal components is critical for meeting demand.
David Klanecky, President and CEO of Cirba Solutions, said, “Federal incentives for the purchase of EVs, requirements for domestic EV battery manufacturing included in the Inflation Reduction Act, and state requirements like California’s recent move to require all new vehicles sold in the state to be zero-emission by 2035, ensure that lithium-ion battery recycling will be critical for auto manufacturers to meet demand and have a sustainable future.”
He added that the market for lithium-ion batteries is projected to reach $25 billion by 2028. The rechargeable batteries also are used in phones, laptops and other consumer electronics.
The pressure on global and domestic lithium mining capacity will continue to grow with demand from EV and other electronics, making EV battery recycling increasingly important to meet the growing market in an environmentally responsible manner.
By 2050, recycled minerals will account for nearly 50% of cobalt, 25% of lithium and 40% of nickel produced in U.S. EV batteries, according to Resources, Conservation and Recycling.
Pinal County is an EV production hub as the site of the Lucid Motors and Nikola Corporation factories, and this recycling facility will raise the state’s profile as a manufacturing center for electric vehicles and their components, said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority.