Li-Cycle announces plans for expansion in Kingston

Li-Cycle’s Ontario Spoke facility on Hagerman Drive in Kingston, as photographed during Prime Minister Trudeau’s tour of the building on March 7, 2023. Photo by Cris Vilela/Kingstonist.

Lithium-ion battery recycler Li-Cycle has announced plans to expand its facilities in the Kingston region, with the company set to replace its existing Spoke and Warehouse location on Hagerman Avenue with a brand new state-of-the-art building in the city. The new facility will be in line with modern technological advancements in the world of lithium-ion recycling.

The company recently hosted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, at an event in Kingston on Tues., March 7, 2023. During the event, the two toured the city’s existing Spoke facility, seeing firsthand how Li-Cycle recycles lithium-ion batteries “in a safe and environmentally friendly manner,” read a release from the company

Li-Cycle, a Toronto-based company, has quickly become a leader in North American lithium-ion recycling. The company’s cutting-edge Spoke and Hub technologies allow for a 95 per cent recycling efficiency rate for lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used to power electric vehicles (EVs) and other technologies. 

“Li-Cycle’s Spokes… safely recycle battery materials through a proprietary submerged shredding process to produce ‘black mass’, an intermediate product which contains highly valuable metals, including lithium, nickel and cobalt,” noted the release. “Our ‘Generation 3’ Spokes have the capability to directly process full EV and energy storage battery packs without any manual dismantling, which enhances safety and cost-effectiveness.” 

The company currently operates four Spokes across North America, with the first Canadian facility located here in Kingston. Li-Cycle’s Kingston Spoke opened in 2020, and their newly-announced plans aim to replace that facility with a location capable of operating at their ‘Generation 3’ Spoke technology. “Li-Cycle’s new Ontario Spoke… is expected to have a processing capacity of up to 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery material per year, which is double the existing facility’s processing capacity of 5,000 tonnes per year.”

The new facility will be able to process “full EV and energy storage packs without any manual dismantling.” The new Kingston location will also include additional research and training facilities, with construction expected to begin in 2023. 

News of the company’s expansion in Kingston drew support from local elected officials, including Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands. “Li-Cycle’s expansion in Kingston is an important part of making Canada a clean tech innovator the world over. Since my initial tour of Li-Cycle’s local facility, I’ve been continually impressed by this company’s innovation and growth.

“I’m so pleased that Li-Cycle had the opportunity to showcase their local operations to Prime Minister Trudeau and President von der Leyen during their [recent] visit to Kingston,” Gerretsen added.

Outside of the work being done in North America, Li-Cycle is also currently expanding its services into Europe, with a new facility planned for Magdeburg, Germany. The German location will be capable of processing 30,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery material per year. By the end of 2023, the company expects to have an annual total processing capacity of 80,000 tonnes across its North American and European facilities. 

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