E-recycler Attero to spend $1 bn to expand as EVs take off

By Editor


India’s largest electronics recycling firm Attero Recycling will spend $1 billion in the next five years and add plants in Poland, Ohio and Indonesia starting this year, aiming to tap into a global boom for electric vehicles.

The World Bank-backed company, whose clients include Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor, also plans to prepare for an initial public offering in about a year and list in India or the United States in the next three years, Reuters news report said.

Attero CEO Nitin Gupta said the goal is to raise its annual lithium-ion battery waste processing capacity to 300,000 tons by 2027 from 11,000 tons now, meeting 15 percent of the world’s demand for lithium, cobalt and graphite, from less than 0.1 percent today.

He said half the cost of an electric vehicle is the lithium-ion batteries, at least 35 percent of whose cost then comes from cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite and manganese.

Attero’s extraction rate is about 98 percent and it uses chemical methods instead of the more expensive smelting process that melts certain metals beyond recovery, Gupta said. Some of the materials it extracts go to Tesla via Swiss mining group Glencore.

Attero’s Poland factory will be operational by the fourth quarter of 2022, in Ohio in the third quarter of 2023 and in Indonesia by the first quarter of 2024. The investments will be from internal accruals, Gupta said.

Its rivals include Li-Cycle Holdings and Redwood Materials but could face competition from established automakers like Nissan planning their own battery recycling operations.

Attero employs about 150 people and plans to add 100 more this year, including in Europe and the United States. Gupta said sales were set to double this financial year to about 4.25 billion rupees ($55 million), but declined to share profit projections.

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