The Spanish energy giant Endesa has announced that it is setting up the first electric vehicle battery recovery and recycling facility in the country, in partnership with Urbaser.
The first plant on the Iberian mainland will be opened in Cubillos del Sil (León) and will come into operation at the end of 2023. Under the Endesa Futur-e Plan, and with an investment of 13 million euros, the energy company will locate the facility at the Cubillos del Sil thermal power plant which it is already in the process of dismantling.
The new battery recycling plant is one of the seven projects recently approved by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, the Junta de Castilla y León, the municipalities of Ponferrada and Cubillos del Sil, the University of León and Endesa.
The new joint venture will manage the collection of electric batteries across Spain and Portugal, and the safe temporary storage and transport to Cubillos del Sil for their subsequent treatment.
In the new facilities, batteries will be adapted for reuse if possible. The remainder will be electrically discharged, broken down and subjected to a separation and crushing process that will allow the recycling of the materials, such as plastics, aluminium and copper, as well as the "black mass", of strategic metals, of great value in Europe, such as cobalt and nickel, both essential for the manufacture of new batteries.
The plant should enter into operation by the end of 2023. However, it is planned to start the logistics activity in advance, so the collection, transport and safe storage of the batteries will be carried out to guarantee the necessary volume that, in due course, will allow the plant to start up at full capacity.
The recycling facility will generate about 50 direct jobs, and an unquantified number of indirect opportunities. The plant will satisfy the demand for recycling in both Spain and Portugal, with an estimated annual treatment capacity of 8,000 tonnes of electric batteries.