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Sungeel MCC abandons plans to establish battery recycling plant in Endicott New York


The joint venture of the South Korean recycler Sungeel Hitech and the e-waste company Metallica Commodities Corporation was announced in 2018. The plans was to take over a former IBM chip plant in Endicott and transform it to a pre-processing plant for waste lithium-ion batteries with an annual capacity of 3,000 tonnes. Batteries would then have been sent to Sungeel's plant in South Korea for further processing.


Empire State Development (ESD), State of New York's investment promotion agency committed $1.75M to the project which were said to generate 86 new hi-tech manufacturing jobs with average salaries of over $50,000 and a total investment of $23.3M in technology and equipment.


Although the company received permits to operate, a local opinion against the plans was raised. After the election in November, new Republican leadership in Broome County rescinded the law enabling the plant. The process included a calciner which has been described as an incinerator in local media.


The new plans were announced by the company in local press. SMCC now says they will find a new location for the plant.


Sungeel operates a hydrometallurgical plant in South Korea specialized in the recycling of lithium-ion batteries. The company has pre-processing hubs in Hungary, India and Malaysia as well as a subsidiary in China.