Battery recycler Li-Cycle more than doubled revenue quarter over quarter

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Lithium-ion battery recycling specialist Li-Cycle reported revenue of US$8.7 million for the quarter ended April 30, 2022, more than double the previous quarter.

Li-Cycle said the revenue growth – 29 times higher than the same quarter a year earlier – was due to higher product sales volume and metal prices. Its operating expenses rose to $30 million, six times the $5.6 million in the same period last year.

This resulted in a net loss of $20.7 million, up 165% year over year. The adjusted EBITDA loss amounted to US$19.5 million. Its fiscal year runs until October 31.

The company recycles lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles and energy storage and its two-step process can achieve a recovery rate of 95%. It recently opened its third recycling facility, in Arizona, its third “Spoke” facility. Spoke facilities process battery waste and end-of-life batteries before sending the resulting black mass to a recycling center in New York, slated to come online in 2023, which will refine it into different critical materials that can then be used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries.

The company expects the Energy Storage Systems (ESS) sector to be a major contributor to both the supply of materials and also the removal of recycled materials produced by Li-Cycle.

During its most recent quarter, the company entered into long-term agreements with LG and Glencore to be their preferred lithium-ion battery recycling partner. The two companies will supply raw materials and waste to Li-Cycle’s hubs while Glencore will supply dark mass and sulfuric acid for its hub once opened. LG and Glencore will also have signed take-off agreements for some of Li-Cycle’s battery-grade products manufactured at the Rochester hub.

“We continued to successfully execute our Spoke & Hub network strategy, with significant operational, commercial and financial achievements this quarter,” Ajay Kochhar, President and CEO of Li-Cycle.

“Strategically, we are positioning Li-Cycle as a leading and preferred recycler and supplier of critical battery materials, capitalizing on significant secular growth trends.”

Li-Cycle, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange in August last year through a SPAC merger, ended its second quarter with $509.3 million in cash. This amounts to US$760 million on a pro forma basis, including investments totaling US$250 million from LG and Glencore under these agreements.

The company plans to open ray facilities in Europe – in Norway and Germany – in the first half of 2023 and expects by the end of this year to have an annual recycling capacity of 65,000 tonnes. Based on figures previously provided to Energy-Storage.news by Kunal Phalpher, Li-Cycle CCO, that 65.00 tons is equivalent to approximately 13 GWh of battery material.

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