Hydrovolt expands battery recycling operations to France

Hydrovolt, the joint venture between the Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt and the Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro, has made a final investment decision to set up recycling operations in Hordain in the north of France.

Image: Hydrovolt

The region around the small town of Hordain offers Hydrovolt’s new facility proximity to other players in a nascent battery hub. Close by, Dunkirk (Dunkerque) is already home to battery cell factories from ProLogium and Renault partner Verkor. A cathode material plant from XTC and Orano is being built in the area, while the Envision battery factory currently under construction in Douai is also located in the Hauts-de-France region.

On either end of the battery value chain, the mining group Eramet and the environmental services group Suez announced a recycling factory for electric vehicle batteries in the area, which is also home to a Stellantis commercial vehicle plant. Stellantis is also involved in battery recycling in the area with Orano.

Not much information has been revealed yet about Hydrovolt’s planned plant in Hordain. The company wants to set up a collection point for discharging and dismantling electric vehicle batteries and industrial batteries as a first step. Operations at the plant are expected to start in 2025 since the chosen location already has a facility suitable for recycling with an area of around 3,000 square meters. Plans are still subject to the necessary approvals.

Ole Christen Enger, CEO of Hydrovolt said, “This is a big milestone for Hydrovolt, and the entry to the French market will help us maintain our position as a leading European recycler of EV and industrial batteries. It is key for us to establish local presence across Europe to help build a circular battery value chain.”

For its expansion into France, Hydrovolt can draw on its experience in Norway. Hydrovolt is a battery recycling joint venture founded in 2020 between the Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt and the Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro. Headquartered in Oslo, Hydrovolt has been operating a battery recycling plant in Fredrikstad since May 2022. The Norwegian plant can process around 12,000 tons of battery packs (equivalent to around 25,000 electric car batteries) per year. Hydrovolts long-term goal is to recycle around 70,000 tons of battery packs by 2025 and 300,000 tons of battery packs by 2030, which corresponds to around 150,000 electric car batteries in 2025 and 500,000 in 2030.

At the end of February, Hydrovolt announced that it would be cooperating with Finnish competitor Fortum to make Northern Europe a model region for battery recycling. Fortum is building a new pilot plant for innovative recycling methods in Finland and operates existing plants in Finland and Germany.

Hydrovolt is counting on the expected continuing expansion of the battery recycling market as European demand for batteries grows exponentially. In its statement about the expansion with the new facility in the north of France, Hydrovolt points out, “Recycling provides a new supply of battery-grade metals which is preferable to freshly mined materials.”



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