ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The future of Li-Cycle, the lithium battery recycler, remains unclear.
Almost exactly a month ago, the company halted construction on its $700 million hub in Rochester due to money issues. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer helped secure a $350 million federal loan for Li-Cycle.
He was in town, but didn’t want to talk about it the day the company halted work. Monday, he was back. So Chief Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke asked again.
Jennifer Lewke, News10NBC: “Since our last meeting, have you spoken with Li-Cycle about their future here in Rochester? And how do you feel about the security of that $350 million loan?
Schumer: “Both good questions. First, look — Li-Cycle has tremendous potential for the Rochester, Finger Lakes Region. It’s new technology. It would be one of the first in the county and it would help cement Rochester as one of the places making the lithium, that is so needed for all our new batteries. The CEO has said he’s working to straighten things out, that he was a victim of high prices and stuff like that. I hope he will. In the meantime, the Department of Energy is not sending any dollars until he straightens it out and his balance sheet looks 100% okay.”
Lewke: “Are you confident he can do that?”
Schumer: “I hope he can. I hope he can, because it would be so good for Rochester.”
Late last week, Jennifer interviewed the CEO of Li-Cycle about all of this. He told me he’s already invested $400 million into the Rochester hub and is committed to seeing it through.
But, it’s now going to take at least a billion dollars to finish it and he’s still trying to raise the funds.