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TES opens battery recycling plant in Singapore

The lithium-ion battery recycling plant can recycle up to 5,000 metric tons annually.

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TES has opened a multimillion-dollar facility to recycle lithium batteries in Singapore, which is also where the global electronics recycling company is headquartered. Known as TES B, the plant can recycle up to 14 metric tons, or the equivalent of 280,000 lithium-ion smartphone batteries, daily using a combination of mechanical equipment and hydrometallurgical processes to recover nickel, lithium and cobalt.

TES B is partially powered by a 1 megawatt per hour energy storage system (ESS) that is fed by rooftop solar panels.

Singapore’s Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu officiated the facility’s opening with Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Dr. Amy Khor. Fu was joined via video link by TES’s Chief Executive Officer Gary Steele, Chairman Terence Ng and Navis Capital Senior Partner Jean-Christophe Marti. Senior government officials, including the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), industry partners and clients were also present during the launch ceremony, the company says.

TES says the facility uses proprietary battery recycling technology with a recovery rate that exceeds 90 percent and yields a purity level of almost 99 percent. The plant is equipped with shredders and separation equipment, converting the batteries into black mass which then undergoes a chemical treatment process that extracts metals including lithium and cobalt. 

During the ceremony, Steele said, “The opening of the TES B recycling facility in Singapore today marks one of the biggest milestones in our vision of becoming a global sustainability leader. Looking ahead, the battery space is potentially facing raw material commodity shortages stemming from the exponential proliferation of internet of things devices, electric vehicles (EVs) and mobility devices. These real-world challenges need real-world solutions. Working in close partnership with the EDB (Singapore Economic Development Board) and the NEA (National Environment Agency) has enabled TES to develop an innovative battery recycling solution that further cements Singapore as being at the center of the future circular economy.”

“As a majority shareholder since 2013, Navis is excited at the rapid growth of TES and will continue to support investments in sustainable innovations,” Marti said. “Advanced battery recycling is at the heart of this strategy to develop a global sustainability leader.”

Luke Goh, NEA’s CEO, added, “The TES B recycling facility is integral to the extended producer responsibility scheme’s ecosystem for the management of e-waste. The facility will help build up capacity for the recycling of lithium-ion batteries in Singapore and allow the recovery of precious materials, contributing towards the circular economy. Such facilities support Singapore’s move towards phasing out internal combustion engine vehicles in favor of cleaner vehicles, such as EVs, for better public health and to mitigate climate change. This will bring us closer to our goal of being a zero-waste nation.”

Chng Kai Fong, managing director of the EDB, said, “As Singapore scales electric vehicle adoption and solar deployment, TES B and TES’ efforts in second-life energy storage systems will contribute to our battery recycling and energy management ecosystem, which will support Singapore’s sustainability agenda and create new and exciting job opportunities for Singapore.”

In addition to bringing innovative recycling processes to Southeast Asia, TES also announced that it is working with strategic partners to introduce ESS offerings and scalable turnkey solutions using retired EV batteries for various commercial and residential energy needs in the secondary market. ESS uses a network of optimally connected, second-life battery cells to store electricity and is a viable power alternative for green energy plants, remote mining power and base transmit stations, among other applications, the company says.