The specialty chemical company Tianyuan partners with the recycler and battery materials company GEM to build an reuse and recycling base in Yibin in the Sichuan province in China. The plant will be designed for repurposing as well as of recycling of batteries.
The first phase, an investment of 800M RMB ($110.3M), is the construction of a 50,000 tonnes per year line for disassembly and pre-processing of EV batteries, a 20,000 tonnes per year lithium iron phosphate material regeneration line and a 1 GWh line for repurposing of batteries to ESS units.
The project is expected to be followed by another investment of 910M RMB which will double the disassembly and pre-processing capacity to 100,000 tonnes per year, increase the lithium iron phosphate production to 50,000 tonnes and the repurposing line to 3 GWh.
Tianyuan Group has through its subsidiary Yibin Guangyuan Lithium Battery Materials so far invested in production of ternary materials with a an annual output of 30,000 tonnes of different ternary precursors and cathode materials and will increase its capacity to up to 100,000 tonnes. However by the end of the year the company launched a plan to produce 100,000 tonnes of LFP cathode material and 100,000 tonnes LFP precursor. GEM is one of the shareholders in the company and so is CATL, the largest customer for the LFP material.
Interestingly the Tianyuan Group has direct access to both phosphate rock and iron by-products through subsidiaries.
GEM, which is one of the true pioneers in Chinese battery recycling and a substantial producer of battery materials has lately participated in several projects with other battery material producers, providing expertise and technology. One of the most notable projects is Ecopro's recycling plant in Pohang in South Korea. Since last year GEM has also launched an equipment business providing recycling technology to other companies.