Eramet and Suez choose Dunkirk for their electric vehicle battery recycling plant

Paris, September 22nd – 8.30 am CEST


Eramet and Suez choose Dunkirk for their electric vehicle battery recycling plant

Eramet, the European mining and metallurgical leader and SUEZ, a leader in circular solutions in water and waste, have announced Dunkirk as the location for their future industrial complex for recycling lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries. This project will enable the strategic metals used in batteries to be recycled in a closed loop, helping to secure the metal supplies needed for Europe’s energy transition.

The project involves an upstream dismantling plant and a downstream metal extraction plant. The final investment decision for the project is expected by the end of 2023 for the upstream plant, with a target start-up in 2025, and by the end of 2024 for the downstream plant, with a target start-up in 2027.

Eramet and SUEZ have chosen the Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque (59) as the location for their joint project ReLieVe. This choice is a key step in the development of the innovative battery recycling project initiated by the two partners in 2019.

A pilot plant to continuously test and validate the refining process on a pre-industrial scale is about to be put into operation in Trappes (78), on the site of Eramet's research center.

The project involves the construction of two facilities::

  • An "upstream" blackmass dismantling and production plant expected to start in 2025, with a processing capacity of 50 000 tons of battery modules per year, the equivalent of 200,000 electric cars batteries.
  • A "downstream" hydrometallurgy plant to extract and refine the strategic metals contained in the blackmass (nickel, cobalt, lithium), allowing them to be reused in the production of new batteries.

Within this project, the two partners will combine their respective expertise:

  • SUEZ in the collection, sorting, preparation, dismantling and recycling of materials from used batteries.
  • Eramet for the development of hydrometallurgical technology to recycle the strategic metals contained in the blackmass..  

The performances obtained during the development process indicate that it is possible to meet or exceed the requirements of the future European regulations1 with a reduced use of natural resources and a reduced carbon footprint.

A recycling plant located in the heart of the battery valley

The Dunkirk site is ideally positioned at the heart of the "battery valley" that is emerging in the Hauts de France region. Several battery production plants, (gigafactories), are due to open in the region over the next few years.

Eramet has received a grant from the European Union and BPI totaling €80 million in order to finance pre-industrialization studies, plant construction and operating costs for the first 10 years of operation.

Christel Bories, Chair and CEO of Eramet: "The progress of the ReLieVe project confirms our desire to move forward with the creation of a battery recycling sector in France. New urban mines are being set up on European territory: as a responsible mining player, our role is to develop this resource and give it a second life, with a considerably reduced environmental impact.”

Sabrina Soussan, Chairman and CEO of SUEZ: "With the rise of the electric vehicle market, the recycling of used batteries is becoming a key issue in the circular economy. As a leader in waste sector, SUEZ provides innovative and resilient solutions to limit the consumption of virgin raw materials and secure supplies of secondary raw material”.


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Tel: +33 1 45 38 37 02

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About Eramet
Eramet transforms the Earth’s mineral resources to provide sustainable and responsible solutions to the growth of the industry and to the challenges of the energy transition. Its employees are committed to this through their civic and contributory approach in all the countries where the mining and metallurgical group is present. Manganese, nickel, mineral sands, lithium, and cobalt: Eramet recovers and develops metals that are essential to the construction of a more sustainable world. As a privileged partner of its industrial clients, the Group contributes to making robust and resistant infrastructures and constructions, more efficient means of mobility, safer health tools and more efficient telecommunications devices. Fully committed to the era of metals, Eramet’s ambition is to become a reference for the responsible transformation of the Earth’s mineral resources for living well together.

About SUEZ
Faced with growing environmental challenges, SUEZ has been delivering essential services that protect and improve our quality of life for more than 160 years. SUEZ provides its customers with innovative and resilient solutions for water and waste services. With 40 000 employees across 40 countries, the Group works with customers to create value over the full lifecycle of their assets and services, and to drive their low carbon transition. In 2022, SUEZ provided drinking water for 68 million people worldwide and sanitation services for more than 37 million people. The Group generated 3.7 TWh of energy from waste and wastewater, and avoided 4 million tons of CO2 emissions. In 2022, SUEZ has generated revenues of 8.8 billion euros*.
For more information: Twitter @suez

*restated on a 12-month basis.

1 European regulations require that 90% of cobalt, copper and nickel and 50% of lithium to be recycled by 2027, and 95% of cobalt, copper and nickel and 80% of lithium by 2031.



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