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Sungeel Hitech sets up 20,000 tpa pre-processing plant in Germany

The South Korean battery recycling company Sungeel Hitech will build a battery recycling plant in Rudolstadt in the German state of Thuringia. Construction of the plant, which initially will have a capacity of 20,000 tonnes of battery scrap, will start in the beginning of 2023 while commissioning is expected later the same year.

Sungeel is today one of the largest battery recyclers in the world and by far the company with the biggest geographical footprint. With the plant and with the ongoing construction of a plant in Poland, Sungeel will operate four battery recycling plants in Europe with a total capacity of 100,000 tonnes. Except for Germany and Poland the company have pre-processing plants in Hungary, India, Malaysia, China and South Korea. In South Korea Sungeel operates two hydro metallurgical plants. The company's goal is to set up 30 pre-processing plants and another 3 hydrometallurgical plants around the world by 2030. Recently, in Korean press the company was said to invest $30M to build a recycling plant in China with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes per year in Jilin, in a joint venture with Tianjin Tieryang New Energy Technology.

The plant in Rudolstadt will be built in partnership with Samsung C&T which also is a direct investor in Sungeel. Sungeel has also been successful in establishing commercial relationships with all three large South Korean battery companies and are building the new plant in Poland primarily to process rejects and production scrap from LG Energy Solutions' battery plant in Wrocław. The company does also have POSCO, Cosmo Advanced Materials and Ecopro, the three large South Korean cathode producers, as customers and partners.

The new plant will be built less than one hour from CATL's battery plant in Erfurt and Sungeel is using the same engineering partners, the Gicon Group, as the Chinese battery giant.

In 2022 Sungeel is expected to post revenues of around 200 billion won ($127M) and will be listed on the South Korean stock exchange, the KOSDAQ, the 28th of July after a heavily oversubscribed share offering with an initial market cap of 613.5 billion won ($469.5M). The offering enabled a raise of 133.5 billion won ($102M) which will be used to fund the company's expansion in both Europe and North America.

With the new announcements, Circular Energy Storage's database for pre-processing capacity in Europe will in 2025 have grown more than 5 times since 2021 and will be more than 500,000 tonnes. This can be compared to 148,000 tonnes of expected battery scrap available for recycling. This will take the European market into a similar over capacity like the Chines market has experienced over the last two years.

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