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European Bank backs Polish e-scrap venture

Plans by Polish recycler Elemental for a recycling plant to extract rare metals from automotive waste, electric vehicle (EV) batteries and other e-scrap have been backed by a funding package worth EUR 120 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

EBRD has provided long-term financing to Elemental in equity investment and is providing a loan to help deliver the new recycling facility in Zawiercie, southern Poland, which the bank initially supported in 2021 with EUR 25 million of long-term debt financing.

The facility will recycle production scrap and end-of-life lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) from EVs and other electronic devices such as smartphones or laptops, as well as platinum group metals (PGMs) from automotive waste. The facility will include a smelter, shredder and a refinery.

In addition, the money will be used for the financing of solar photovoltaic panels with 37 MW of installed capacity to power operations, and for the associated works.

Established in 2010, Elemental focuses on extracting PGMs and has developed a large network of collection and processing facilities across the Baltic states, Finland, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom, as well as in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and the United States of America.

Frederic Lucenet, EBRD head of manufacturing and services, says: ‘EBRD’s financing for Elemental is at the core of supporting the responsible management of limited resources in a circular economy. The use of secondary metals in LiBs for EVs supports the transition to a low-carbon economy, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation in the transport sector.’

Tamas Nagy, EBRD director for equity, adds: ‘We are excited to partner with Elemental’s founder Pawel Jarski and look forward to supporting him and his talented team in the next phase of the company’s development.’

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