27 Ноября 2021 | суббота | 06:15

Leon will host the Iberian Peninsula’s first electric vehicle battery recycling plant

Октября 22, 2021

The first electric vehicle battery recycling plant on the Iberian Peninsula will be installed in Cubillos del Sil (León) and will enter service at the end of 2023, as a result of an initiative by Endesa, in partnership with Urbaser.

The plant, which involves an investment of 13 million euros, is part of Endesa’s Futur-e Plan, through which the power company will support the end of operation of the Cubillos del Sil (León) thermal power plant, which is currently being dismantled.
The new battery recycling plant is one of the seven projects recently approved by Spain’s Ministry of Ecological Transition, the Castilla y León Regional Government, the municipalities of Ponferrada and Cubillos del Sil, the University of León and Endesa. 
The electric vehicle battery recycling plant is a clear commitment to sustainable development and environmental protection through circular economy. The new joint venture will manage the collection of electric batteries in Spain and Portugal, their safe temporary storage and their transport to Cubillos del Sil for subsequent processing. 
The circular component of this alliance lies in the reuse and recovery activity. In the new facilities of Cubillos del Sil, those batteries suitable for this operation will be adapted for reuse. The remaining batteries will be electrically discharged, dismantled and subjected to a separation and shredding process that will allow the recycling of the materials present, such as plastics, aluminum and copper, as well as the “black mass”, which constitutes the fraction rich in strategic metals, of great value in Europe, such as cobalt and nickel, both of which are key for the manufacture of new batteries. 
The project schedule has been defined with the aim of starting construction work as soon as possible, so that the plant can enter into service by the end of 2023. However, logistics activities are expected to commence in advance, so that battery collection, transport and storage can be brought forward in safe conditions, in order to guarantee the necessary volumes that will allow the plant to start up at full capacity. The development of these activities is expected to generate about 50 direct jobs, in addition to as many indirect jobs yet to be precisely quantified. This plant will meet the demand for recycling in Spain and Portugal, with an estimated annual processing capacity of 8,000 tons of electric batteries.
With a budget of nearly 13 million euros, this project is part of the circular economy initiatives that Endesa has integrated into its strategy, and whose promotion is sought by both the Spanish government and the European Union through the Recovery Funds.
The very nature of the new plant guarantees its viability, while its leading position among recycling facilities on the Iberian Peninsula is ensured by Urbaser and Endesa’s expertise and relevance.
Urbaser, which will participate in this initiative through Sertego, its industrial waste subsidiary, is a leading company in environmental management, present in 25 countries, expert in the collection, storage and treatment of waste. Sertego will be in charge of managing the 20 collection facilities from which the electric vehicle batteries to be processed at the Cubillos del Sil plant will be supplied. Specifically, it will lead their operation and maintenance.
Endesa, in addition to leading the development of the project, will contribute its management capacity and electric mobility expertise. With this initiative Endesa supports the El Bierzo region, while also showing its commitment to circular economy.
This project, plus the other six approved for El Bierzo, have been selected, within the Futur-e Plan, with the aim of benefitting the region through a program that provides for the utilization of the thermal plant’s site and equipment. These initiatives add up to around 160 new jobs and an investment of more than 260 million euros.
The selection of business projects has been carried out through an international tender process aimed at accompanying the end of thermal generation activities, in compliance with the objectives set by Brussels. Endesa is adding to this process, among other actions, the development of 625 MW of renewable energy in the area, the organization of professional training courses, as well as the prioritization of local staff in the dismantling of the thermal power plant.
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