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EIB grants €36.7 million loan to fund demo plant for Pure Battery Technology in Germany

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

The German subsidiary of Australian battery material company Pure Battery Technology, PBT, has been granted a loan of €36.7 million by the European Investment Bank, EIB, to fund a demonstration plant for precursor manufacturing in Hagen, Germany. The plant will use a combined feedstock of both virgin an recycled materials.

Pure Battery Technology was founded in 2017 to commercialize a process initially developed in cooperation with University of Queensland. The process can leach nickel and cobalt intermediaries and create a leachate which directly can be processed into a precursor without the need for the production of salt. The leachate can in this process also be combined with leached black mass from recycled batteries and battery production scraps. In 2020 the company acquired the nickel sulphate producer Königswarter & Ebell from TIB Chemicals, which become the Australian company's European base. In 2021 a joint venture was established with German nickel and stainless steel recycler Cronimet when the German recycler acquired 33.3% of PBT Germany.

The demo facility is will be designed to produce 10,000 tonnes of NMC precursor. The goal is to scale up the facility signficantly with an aim to produce 250,000 tonnes of precursor in 2027, something the company estimates will require investments in the range of 600 to 900 million euros.

Earlier this year EIT InnoEnergy was investing a "seven figure amount in euros" in PBT with an ambition to connect the company with previous investments such as Northvolt and lithium producer Vulcan Energy Resources. The company is in parallel setting up a AUS $460M/50,000 tpa NMC precursor facility in Western Australia, with its partner Poseidon Nickel, and was for this awarded a AUS $119M grant in the beginning of 2022.

With it's ability to process black mass, PBT's precursor plant will add capacity to the European market for material recovery. With focus on NMC precursors the company would require a partner for lithium recovery which might be one of the companies now establishing in the German market such as Vulcan Energy Resources or Rock Tech Lithium which has announced ambitious targets for recycled content.

Read more here.

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