SK Ecoplant recycles over 6,000 tons of batteries

SK Ecoplant announced Monday that its Singaporean unit TES-AMM has processed and recycled over a cumulative 6,000 metric tons of discarded batteries.

Electronic waste recycling company TES has been processing and recycling lithium batteries retrieved from mobile devices including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Considering that the batteries in such devices weigh about 50 grams, the total processed amount is equivalent to some 120 million units of devices, the company estimated.

Rare metals such as lithium and cobalt were effectively extracted from waste batteries at 92 percent, with their purity level reaching a staggering 99 percent.

TES has already earned international recognition for its technological prowess in battery recycling, having won several awards including the UK’s Reuters Responsible Business Awards in 2020, the US’ Edison Awards in 2022, and Sustainability, Environmental Achievement, and Leadership Awards in 2023.

“In addition to processing small batteries, we have also been solidifying and internalizing our expertise in recycling batteries from electric vehicles,” stated an official from SK Ecoplant.

“We plan to secure an edge in the global EV battery recycling market that is estimated to reach a scale of 600 trillion won ($442 billion) by 2050.”

Currently, TES has a foothold in a total of 23 countries, operating recycling facilities for discarded batteries in Singapore, Shanghai, and the French city of Grenoble.

It has also secured about 30 Basel Permits -- an international permit required to legally send discarded batteries to its overseas facility -- which has laid the ground for its outstanding logistics and distribution capacities across 23 locales.

“Our ultimate goal is to achieve a closed loop circular economy, recycling rare metals extracted from waste batteries to manufacture new batteries,” SK Ecoplant CEO Park Kyung-il said in a statement.

Additionally, the EV waste battery processing plant, scheduled to be established in Rotterdam, a port city in the Netherlands, and Yancheng in northeastern China, have entered the early stages of construction.