ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A conference call on Monday could reveal more information about the future of the $700 million battery recycling facility at Eastman Business Park.
Li-Cycle halted construction on its North American battery recycling hub last month and the company is holding its third quarter earnings call at 4:30 p.m.
Li-Cycle says it halted progress due to increasing construction costs. Since then, its stock has plummeted and a class action lawsuit has been filed against the company on behalf of its investors.
Li-Cycle promised a 65-acre site at the Eastman Business Park would become its North American hub. While several local tax incentives offered to Li-Cycle, none of them actually kick in until the project is complete and 100 people have been hired.
A Rochester Institute of Technology professor shed some light on the lithium battery industry and how it could impact what happens from here and why the pause on this project is such a big deal.
“One of the constraining factors here is that this is an industry that basically doesn’t exist yet and timing is very important here,” said Eric Hittinger, Ph.D, professor of engineering and public policy. “Because if your industry is to recycle batteries from electric vehicles, not only are you reliant on a supply of used batteries from electric vehicles, but those are going to come from electric vehicles that were sold five or ten years ago. There’s certainly money to be made here at some point in the future, the question is just when is the optimal time for a company like Li-Cycle to invest in a large facility like the one in Rochester.”
The federal government offered Li-Cycle a $350 million loan but that money hasn’t been processed yet either. The company promised to bring 275 jobs to Rochester.
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