Ascend Elements , a vertically integrated battery recycling and engineered materials company, has announced plans to invest $310 million in the first phase, and up to $1 billion total, to build a battery materials facility at the Commerce Industrial Park II in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
The new manufacturing facility, Apex 1, will be home to the company’s proprietary Hydro-to-Cathode direct precursor synthesis process technology. Ascend says it will take in feedstock (black mass) from recycled EV batteries, and produce enough precursor and cathode active material to equip up to 250,000 EVs per year. The 500,000-square-foot Apex 1 plant will feature onsite chemical recycling capabilities and a wastewater treatment plant. Groundbreaking is expected in Q4 2022, and operations are to begin in late 2023.
“Clean energy and climate technology industries are bringing good jobs to communities across the country, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision to locate Apex 1 in southwest Kentucky,” said Michael O’Kronley, CEO of Ascend Elements. “We’re building something in Kentucky that doesn’t exist anywhere in the United States—a domestic source of sustainable lithium-ion cathode material for EV batteries.”
O’Kronley said the company looked at more than 50 locations for the facility. The Hopkinsville site offers easy access to transportation, clean renewable power, and proximity to EV manufacturers and lithium-ion battery factories in the southeast US. The Ascend Elements Base 1 battery recycling facility in Covington, Georgia will be a key source of recycled battery feedstock (black mass) for the Apex 1 facility.
Source: Ascend Elements