Battery recycler Li-Cycle to create 270 jobs at Rochester facility, Sen. Schumer says
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer was in Rochester on Monday to announce that battery recycling company Li-Cycle has been awarded a $375 million federal loan that will help create 270 jobs at the company’s Eastman Business Park facility.
The New York Democrat and Senate Majority Leader said that Li-Cycle, a leading lithium-ion battery recycler, has been awarded that loan from the U.S. Department of Energy though the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program.
When Schumer and other officials gathered at the business park last September, Li-Cycle President and CEO, Ajay Kochhar said that at that time, his company employed about 35 people locally, but that he expected that number to grow to 220 jobs over the next year.
There are two facilities at the park. One that takes in and breaks down lithium batteries, creating a “black mass.” That "spoke" facility employs about 40. The recycled material then goes to the "hub" facility and is processed to create battery-grade lithium, nickel and cobalt. The hub currently employs about 50, and is what officials are referring to with job projections.
Kochhar has said Eastman Business Park is a good location for their firm because of all of the infrastructure that is already located there. And Rochester has a workforce already trained in chemical processing.
"I don't think many folks have realized that this (facility) ... is expected to be the largest source of lithium carbonate here in the United States," Kochhar said Monday, "whether from mining, or from recycling."
For perspective, the United States currently has, on hand, 5,000 tons of lithium carbonate that is made, he said. The Rochester facility will generate about 8,500 tons of lithium carbonate a year.
“The US demand for domestically manufactured critical minerals is expected to grow with the rise in electric vehicle sales, and electrification of the transportation sector," said Jigar Shah, director of loan programs for the U.S. Department of Energy. "We're going to need a massive scale up of our critical minerals supply chain to keep pace with these deployment goals.”
Schumer said the federal loan is funded through the Inflation Reduction Act, which he pushed for.
Includes reporting by staff writer Brian Sharp.