A new battery recycling facility will strengthen Kentucky’s ties to electric vehicles

A recycling plant to shred electric vehicle batteries will be developed in Kentucky as part of a $65 million joint venture between American and South Korean companies that will also supply material for a separate battery-related activity in the same town, the companies announced. According to Ascend Elements, which is collaborating on the project with South Korean-based SK ecoplant and its electronic-waste recycling subsidiary, TES, the 100,000-square-foot (9,000-square-meter) EV battery recycling facility to be built near Hopkinsville will create approximately 60 jobs. Construction is scheduled to begin in November and end in January 2025. Hopkinsville is located around 170 miles (274 km) southwest of Louisville, Kentucky.

“This is just the beginning of an entirely new industry in the United States,” Ascend Elements CEO Mike O’Kronley stated in a news release. “For every new EV battery gigafactory that is built, we will need to build a new battery recycling facility to process manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries.” According to the firm, the recycling facility will disassemble and shred around 24,000 metric tonnes of used EV batteries and gigafactory debris per year — or approximately 56,000 EV batteries per year. The exact location of the new facility has yet to be chosen, according to the statement. According to the statement, SK ecoplant would own 64% of the new joint venture, with Ascend Elements owning 25% and TES owning 11%. Since 2022, SK ecoplant has invested more than $60 million in Ascend Elements of Massachusetts.

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