Eramet and Suez build battery recycling plant in Dunkirk

The town in northern France is becoming a battery hotspot. After several battery production plants, Eramet and Suez will also build a recycling factory there.

Images: Suez

The mining group Eramet and the environmental services group Suez have decided on the location for their announced recycling factory for electric car batteries in France. It will be built in two stages in Dunkerque (English: Dunkirk) in the north of the country near the border with Belgium.

In the first stage, the companies plan to build a dismantling plant, which will go into operation in 2025 and offer a processing capacity of 50,000 tonnes of battery modules per year. In the second stage, they will set up a hydrometallurgical plant to extract and refine the metals in the black mass (nickel, cobalt, lithium). The partners can then extract valuable materials on-site for reuse in new EV batteries. The plant is scheduled to open its doors in 2027.

When the partners first presented their plans in March 2022, there was talk of construction starting in 2024 and that the second stage would be completed as early as 2025 or 2026. Now it is planned for 2027. At the time of the announcement, it was also unclear whether the two plants for dismantling and hydrometallurgical processing would be built in the immediate vicinity or at different locations. Now it is clear: both will be constructed directly on the English Channel – the Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque, specifically.

Dunkerque is thus becoming an ever larger battery hub. Verkor and ProLogium are also building battery factories, and XTC and Orano are constructing a cathode material plant there – and Envision’s battery factory under construction in Douai is not far away either.

Eramet has received a grant of 80 million Euros from the European Union and the BPI to partially finance pre-industrial studies, construction of the facilities and operating costs for the first ten years of operation.


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