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€120 million to Elemental for e-waste recycling in Poland

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

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  • EBRD makes US$ 75 million equity investment through capital increase alongside International Finance Corporation and Polish Development Fund PFR
  • Separate loan of 52 million signed with Elemental for expansion in Poland
  • New recycling facility to recover rare metals from automotive waste, EV batteries and e-waste

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has committed a total financing package equivalent to around €120 million to support the construction of a greenfield recycling facility in southern Poland. The facility will extract rare metals from automotive waste, electric vehicle (EV) batteries and other e-waste.

The EBRD has provided long-term financing to Elemental in the form of US$ 75 million of equity investment through a capital increase, as part of a US$ 290 million private placement alongside the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Polish Development Fund (Polski Fundusz Rozwoju (PFR)).

Separately, the EBRD is providing a loan of up to €52 million, which was signed on 5 January 2023, increasing the total EBRD financing for Elemental’s new recycling facility to around €120 million.

The EBRD’s new equity and debt investments are fully dedicated to Elemental’s new recycling facility in Zawiercie, the construction of which the Bank initially supported in 2021 with €25 million of long-term debt financing.

The facility will recycle production scrap and end-of-life lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) from EVs and other electronic devices such as smartphones or laptops, as well as platinum group metals (PGMs) from automotive waste. The facility will include a smelter, shredder and a refinery.

In addition, the EBRD proceeds will be used for the financing of solar photovoltaic panels with 37 MW of installed capacity to power operations, and for the associated works.

Rare metals including lithium, platinum, palladium and nickel are key to the production of LiBs for EVs and automotive waste and originally sourced mainly from mines outside Europe. Their extraction and refining is often associated with a high-carbon, social and environmental footprint. The recycling and production of secondary metals, and their re-use as raw materials for new products, can decrease the associated greenhouse-gas emissions by up to 98 per cent compared to the primary benchmarks.

Frederic Lucenet, EBRD Head of Manufacturing and Services, said: “The EBRD’s financing for Elemental is at the core of supporting the responsible management of limited resources in a circular economy. The use of secondary metals in LiBs for EVs supports the transition to a low-carbon economy, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation in the transport sector. This package follows several large EBRD-financed projects in the e-mobility sector of Poland and other countries where the Bank operates.”

“We are excited to partner with Elemental’s founder Pawel Jarski and look forward to supporting him and his talented team in the next phase of the company’s development,” said Tamas Nagy, EBRD Director for Equity.

Established in 2010, Elemental focuses on extracting PGMs such as palladium, platinum and rhodium from SACs, and gold, silver and copper concentrate from e-waste including electrical and electronic equipment, printed circuit boards and non-ferrous scrap metal. Elemental has developed a large network of collection and processing facilities across the Baltic states, Finland, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom, as well as in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and the United States of America.

To date the EBRD has invested more than €12.4 billion in Poland. In 2022, the Bank invested €990 million in Poland, with 80 per cent of this amount for projects supporting the transition to a green economy.

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