June 25, 2024

EcoPro, SK Ecoplant to build EV battery recycling plant in Hungary

PUBLISHED : November 20, 2023 - 09:25

UPDATED : November 20, 2023 - 09:25

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From left: EcoPro CEO Song Ho-jun, SK Ecoplant CEO Park Kyung-il and Terence Ng, CEO of TES, a subsidiary under SK Ecoplant, hold signed memorandums of understanding for setting up a joint battery recycling plant in Hungary, at SK Ecoplant’s headquarters in Jongno, Seoul, Thursday. (EcoPro)

EcoPro said Sunday it has joined hands with SK Ecoplant and its electronics waste recycling subsidiary, TES, to set up an electric vehicle battery recycling plant in Hungary.

EcoPro CEO Song Ho-jun, SK Ecoplant CEO Park Kyung-il and TES CEO Terence Ng participated in the signing ceremony held at SK Ecoplant’s headquarters in Jongno, Seoul, Thursday.

By 2025, the three companies will build recycling facilities in Hungary -- the first project under a business agreement made in March targeting the used EV batteries markets in Europe.

The battery materials company will extract lithium, cobalt, nickel and other raw materials from battery waste, while SK Ecoplant and TES plan to secure battery scrap -- used or faulty batteries -- and recalled batteries from EV makers and battery manufacturers operating production bases in Europe.

The goal is to create a circular economy through a closed-loop recycling system -- a process that can convert a used product back into raw materials to create a new version of the same product -- in Hungary.

The size of the deal was not disclosed.

EcoPro touted its wet process technology, which has a high recovery rate of lithium after shredding the used lithium-ion batteries, selectively extracting black powder and separating lithium and sedimentary minerals from the powder.

The company also said the new recycling plant will create synergy with its first global cathode manufacturing base in Hungary. Its commercial operation is slated for late next year with an annual production capacity projected at 108,000 tons.

SK Ecoplant and TES operate 50 supply chains for collecting and shipping battery waste in 23 countries including the US, France, the Netherlands, China and Singapore. TES, in particular, has received the Basel Permit -- a requirement to import and export waste across borders -- from over 30 countries.

“EcoPro holds a competitive edge in battery recycling and cathode materials production,” said Song in a statement. “Our company’s recycling materials technology, and SK Ecoplant and TES’ strong capacity in the recycling business and global network will create a strong foothold in global markets.”

The three companies have selected Hungary as their first recycling base in Europe because it has a considerable amount of battery scrap, according to EcoPro.

As of last year, the country is the world’s fourth-largest battery market, following China, Poland and the US. By 2030, Hungary’s battery production is expected to surge by more than sevenfold compared to 2022.

The German trio, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, run car manufacturing plants in Hungary, and Korea-based Samsung SDI and SK On operate production sites there. Chinese battery makers like CATL, Eve Power and Sunwoda are also setting up bases in the country.

By Byun Hye-jin (

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