According to the CEO of India’s largest electronics recycling firm Attero Recycling, the company will spend an additional USD 1 bn in the next five years on new battery recycling plants, including facilities in Poland, Indonesia and Ohio. This will be in an effort to tap into the global boom for electric vehicles.
CEO of Attero, Nitin Gupta, said that the company intends to prepare for an IPO in a year’s time, and also intends to list in India and the US in the next three years. The company, which is backed by the World Bank, includes clients such as Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor Corp.
He further added that Attero’s goal by 2027 is to raise its annual lithium-ion waste processing capacity to 300,000 tons, compared to 11,000 tons at present. Mr. Gupta said that achieving this goal would meet 15 percent of the world’s demand for lithium, graphite and cobalt, up from 0.1 percent currently.
Gupta, who founded the company in 2008 with his brother, said that Lithium-ion batteries are fast becoming ubiquitous. The company was made profitable in the last two years.
He mentioned that by recycling such batteries, the company was not only solving a waste management problem, but also becoming an important player in the material supply chain without mining the earth.
Gupta said that over half the cost of an electric vehicle is because of the cost of the lithium-ion batteries used, the cost of which 35 percent is made up from the cost of cobalt, lithium, nickel, manganese and graphite.
The extraction rate at Attero is almost 98 percent, and utilises chemical methods as an alternative to the more expensive smelting method. The smelting method melts certain metals beyond recovery. The CEO mentioned that a certain amount of the material the company extracts goes to Tesla Inc through Swiss mining group Glencore Plc.
Attero to expand overseas
In a statement, Gupta said that the company’s Poland factory will become operational by the last quarter of 2022, the Ohio factory in the third quarter of 2023, and the Indian plant by the first quarter of 2024. Investment for the international operations will be mainly from internal accruals.
Attero’s competitors include Li-Cycle Holdings and Redwood Materials, but it could also face competition from established companies like Nissan, which is planning its own battery recycling operations.
Currently, the company employs 150 people, with plans to add 100 more employees this year, including in the US and Europe. According to Gupta, sales of the company were set to double this financial year to approximately USD 55 million. He did not share profit projections for the company.
Attero is India’s largest electronic asset management company. The company promotes the reuse and recycling of electronics sustainably and responsibly for a better environmental impact.
Through its state-of-the-art recycling plants, the company aims to recover reusable resources and precious metals by processing E-Waste with clean technology. This will aid in efforts to minimise carbon footprint.
The company has received certifications that include ISO 14001 – 2004, and ISO 9001 – 2008.
The company has also been approved by the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change to earn Carbon Credits for recycling e-waste.