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EV Batteries a Boon for India’s Largest Electronics Recycler

Attero Recycling, based near Delhi, plans to build EV battery recycling facilities in Indonesia, Poland and the US as it aims to be a global player

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A rechargeable lithium ion battery made for Volkswagen. Photo: Reuters


Attero Recycling, India’s largest electronics recycling firm, plans to tap into the booming market for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, pledging to spend $1 billion in the next five years.

The company, based near Delhi, plans to build EV battery recycling facilities in Indonesia, Poland and the US as it aims to be a global player.

The  company, whose clients include Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor, also plans to prepare for an initial public offering in about a year and list in India or the US in the next three years, chief executive Nitin Gupta.

Attero’s goal is to raise its annual lithium-ion EV batteries waste processing capacity to 300,000 tonnes by 2027 from 11,000 tonnes now, he said, meeting 15% of the world’s demand for lithium, cobalt and graphite, from less than 0.1% today.

“Lithium-ion EV batteries are becoming ubiquitous in nature,” Gupta, who founded Attero in 2008 with his brother and made it profitable in the past two years, said.

By recycling such batteries, Gupta said they were not only solving a waste problem but also becoming “significant players in the material supply chain by selling green metals without mining the earth”.

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EV Battery is Biggest Cost

He said half the cost of an EV is the lithium-ion batteries, at least 35% of whose cost then comes from cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite and manganese.

Attero’s extraction rate is about 98% and it uses chemical methods instead of the more expensive smelting process that melts certain metals beyond recovery, Gupta said. Some of the materials it extracts go to Tesla.

He said Attero’s Poland factory will be operational by the fourth quarter of 2022, in the US state of Ohio in the third quarter of 2023 and in Indonesia by the first quarter of 2024. The investments will be mainly from internal accruals, Gupta added.

Attero’s rivals include Li-Cycle Holdings and Redwood Materials but the company could also face competition from established carmakers like Nissan planning their own battery recycling operations.

Gupta said he employs about 150 people and plans to add 100 more this year, including in Europe and the US.

Gupta said sales were set to double this financial year to about 4.25 billion rupees ($55 million), but declined to share profit projections.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell. This article has been amended to remove a reference to Glencore, which is not involved in the materials extraction process.




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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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