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Battery recycler Li-Cycle to make $485 million investment in Rochester; create 220 jobs

Senator Chuck Schumer at Li-Cycle
Randy Gorbman
/
WXXI News
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), at a news conference at Li-Cycle in Rochester on 9/19/22

A Canadian battery recycling company which already has a presence in Rochester is making a big investment to expand their operation at the Eastman Business Park.

It was announced on Monday that the company, Li-Cycle will invest $485 million to establish one of their hub operations at the business park.

Currently, Li-Cycle employs about 35 people locally, but within a year or so, that local employment will rise to about 220 employees.

The company’s president and CEO, Ajay Kochhar, says the Eastman Business Park is a good location for their firm because of all of the infrastructure that is already located there.

“What we really need at the end of the day is more like a chemical operation,” said Kochhar. “So we need power, we need steam, we need different utilities. What attracted us here was a ‘plug and play.’ This plot behind us is basically a great plot of land that was already to be used and around it all the utilities that we need.

Li-Cycle extracts minerals and other materials from used batteries, and Kocharr says the need for those materials is increasing rapidly , especially with the focus on ramping up electric vehicle production in the U.S.

Ajay Kochhar of Li-Cycle
Randy Gorbman
/
WXXI News
Ajay Kochhar, President and CEO of Li-Cycle, at a news conference in Rochester on Monday, 9/19/22

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) appeared at a news conference Monday at Li-Cycle’s Rochester facility along with Kocharr. Schumer spoke of the need to have more of the battery making materials available from U.S. businesses like Li-Cycle.

“We let all of this great manufacturing go overseas,” said Schumer. “But that’s got to change and batteries is at the top of the list. Batteries, and the minerals that are needed to make batteries, lithium, nickel, cobalt, are made overseas in china and East Asia. And that is really dangerous, not just for our economic security and jobs but for our national security.”

Schumer said that he is pushing for more federal investment to help companies like Li-cycle grow their businesses.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.