Governor Kathy Hochul today announced New York State’s agreement with Li-Cycle, a Canadian lithium-ion battery resource recovery company, to create nearly 270 jobs in Monroe County through the performance-based Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program. The company will expand its U.S. operations through a new facility known as the Rochester Hub, which is currently being constructed on a 41-acre parcel of land formerly known as Eastman Business Park South. This is in addition to Li-Cycle’s first U.S. Spoke facility currently operating within the business park, which has created more than 35 jobs. The latest project is expected to create up to 269 new jobs, and more than 1,000 jobs during construction. Empire State Development has agreed to support this project with up to $13.5 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits in exchange for the job creation commitments.
“We are powering New York’s cleantech economy by supporting Li-Cycle’s expansion, which will not only increase our lithium-ion battery supply but also recharge our thriving energy storage industry,” Governor Hochul said. “With state support, Li-Cycle is bringing over 260 new jobs to the Finger Lakes region while supporting our state’s clean energy sector. My administration is committed to supporting projects that will continue to bolster our state’s economic growth and create a cleaner, more resilient future for all New Yorkers.”
In January 2020, Empire State Development announced that Li-Cycle would establish its first U.S.-based facility in New York State in an effort to tap into the robust lithium-ion battery supply chain available nationwide. ESD is assisting Li-Cycle with up to $13.5 million through the performance-based Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program once Li-Cycle starts meeting the new employment commitments. Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise are also assisting with the project. Li-Cycle expects to start commissioning of the Rochester Hub facility in stages in 2023.
Li-Cycle’s “Spoke” and “Hub” operations will complement each other. Li-Cycle currently has several US-based Spokes that process end-of life batteries and battery manufacturing scrap through a proprietary process which produces minimal wastewater and emissions. The primary product of Li-Cycle’s Spokes is black mass, containing a number of highly valuable critical metals, including lithium, cobalt and nickel. Li-Cycle will convert the black mass into battery-grade materials at the ‘Hub’ in an environmentally sustainable manner, using its proprietary technologies.
The ‘Spoke’ operation is capable of shredding up to 5,000 tonnes per year of lithium-ion batteries. Ultimately, the “Hub” facility will receive the black mass from its’ spoke locations across the US and process battery material that is equivalent to approximately 225,000 electric vehicles per year. Supplying critical battery-grade materials domestically will have an important economic, environmental, and national security impact in the US.
Li-Cycle Co-founder and CEO Ajay Kochhar said, “We are excited to expand and grow our Spoke & Hub facilities in the Rochester area and thank the ESD for their strong support. Li-Cycle’s first mover advantage puts it in excellent position to continue to scale and provide critical battery materials for automakers and manufacturers so they are able to meet domestic material sourcing requirements. Our patented and environmentally sustainable technologies are a proven and leading way to recycle lithium-ion batteries and will assist in accelerating the clean energy transition.”
Founded in 2016 in Ontario, Canada, Li-Cycle has developed and validated a unique process that allows them to recover up to 95 percent of all materials found in lithium-ion batteries while maintaining minimal wastewater discharge and actualizing the company’s zero waste target. All materials that are recovered from lithium-ion batteries are either processed to the point of being reusable in battery production or for use in other applications.
Li-Cycle’s Rochester “Hub” project builds on the success story that is the rebirth of Eastman Business Park, where more than 6,000 people work at the 114 companies now operating within the park. Other sustainable technology efforts at EBP aimed at growing the sustainable energy ecosystem include the BEST Test and Commercialization Center, the Kodak Cell Assembly Center, and Plug Power. Other companies also thriving at EBP include DuPont which operates the largest probiotics fermentation facility in the world, L3 Harris, and LiDestri Food & Drink.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Our investment in Li-Cycle’s lithium-ion battery recycling facility at Eastman Business Park represents New York State’s continued commitment to companies that are innovating and creating economic opportunities in sustainable energy. This forward-thinking project will add high-quality jobs in the Finger Lakes region, further advancing our efforts to establish New York as a global leader in energy storage.”
State Senator Jeremy Cooney said, “Li-Cycle’s expansion in Rochester’s own Eastman Business Park is a significant investment for our region’s continued economic growth. Bringing over 200 permanent, well-paying, eco-friendly jobs and thousands of jobs during the construction phase, this project ensures Greater Rochester remains a leader in technological advancement. I’m grateful to Governor Hochul and Empire State Development for their continued support of this impactful work.”
Assemblymember Joshua Jensen said, “Today’s announcement is another example of how our community is uniquely positioned to be an industry leader in growing our next generation economy. Li-Cycle’s investment in Eastman Business Park and Monroe County will not only provide economic opportunity for this community and state but will ensure that our business and technological infrastructure is uniquely prepared to continue to grow as other businesses decide whether or not to invest in Rochester as their new home.”
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “Li-Cycle is creating hundreds of great-paying jobs for our neighbors while providing a much-needed service as our world uses more lithium-ion batteries in our daily lives. Monroe County has been proud to partner with Li-Cycle to help expand its operations in Monroe County – and we’re grateful for Gov. Kathy Hochul’s investment to help Li-Cycle grow even more and strengthen our economy.”
Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said, “I want to congratulate Li-Cycle on their expansion and thank them for making this investment, which offers further evidence that Rochester is the perfect location for high-tech job growth in the 21st century. Thank you as well to Governor Kathy Hochul and Empire State Development for supporting Rochester’s economy through Finger Lakes Forward. Together we are moving forward to create a hope-filled city with an exciting future.”
Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich said, “The Town of Greece has been working with Li-Cycle since 2019 to bring this massive investment to Greece’s Eastman Business Park. Greece’s new Economic Development and Innovation Overlay paved the way for priority local approvals, while my economic development team worked closely with agencies in all levels of government to secure environmental permits and negotiate incentives. Only Li-Cycle themselves have worked harder to bring this project home. With construction now underway on Li-Cycle’s HUB, my team is engaged daily to see the project through to completion. Industrial development and investment on this scale has not been seen in Monroe County in more than a decade and I’m working hard to make sure we seize this opportunity. A project of this magnitude creates gravity and secondary economic growth, and not just in the clean energy sector. Li-Cycle’s investment in Greece is also a shot in the arm for the construction and service industries which are so important to the local economy. I’m proud to welcome Li-Cycle to Greece’s Eastman Business Park and excited to see the project moving forward.”
Kodak Executive Chairman and CEO Jim Continenza said, “Kodak is proud to be a part of the Li-Cycle Hub project, which reflects our commitment to battery and energy storage technology and sustainable processes. The Hub project will benefit from the vast resources of Eastman Business Park, including utilities, rail, security and facilities management services. The Rochester region will benefit from the jobs created by the project, both directly and indirectly. And our environment will benefit from the proprietary material recovery service provided by Li-Cycle.”
Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO and Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Bob Duffy, said, “Li-Cycle’s expansion at Eastman Business Park is further proof that international business innovation thrives in Greater Rochester, and it is a huge win for our region. As this great company is bolstered by the talent, resources, and support of our business community, we look forward to seeing them achieve even greater heights of success. Thank you to ESD, Monroe County, and Li-Cycle’s co-founder and CEO Ajay Kochhar for making this well-calculated investment in the Greater Rochester region.”
Matt Hurlbutt, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise said, “Li-Cycle’s plans to create a battery recycling hub at Eastman Business Park underscores the valuable infrastructure as well as battery and energy storage expertise available at this site in Rochester, NY. GRE coordinated the various economic development resources essential to secure Li-Cycle’s significant investment and the creation of nearly 270 new jobs in our community.”
For additional information regarding Li-Cycle, visit: https://li-cycle.com/.