Provision of a loan to finance the expansion of a recycling facility and installation of PV panels on site. The facility (currently under construction) will allow recycling of spent lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and autocatalysts containing platinum group metals (PGM). The facility will be one of the first of its kind in the EU and entail deployment of a new technology. It will produce secondary metals and other materials that can be reused as input for the production of new batteries or other applications, providing an essential recycling service within the lithium-ion batteries value chain and circular economy. The installation of PV panels also contributes to reducing the carbon footprint.
The Project will support a responsible management of limited resources in the circular economy via recycling of Platinum Group Metals (PGMs). The Project will allow Elemental Group to:
(i) enter the new, developing market of Li-ion batteries recycling and
(ii) move across the value chain for PGM recycling through construction of own processing facility.
ETI score: 80
The transition impact is derived from the Green quality. The loan supports the capacity expansion of a recycling facility for processing of spent auto catalysis (SACs) and li-ion batteries, and the installation of PV panels, primarily to generate electricity for its recycling facility. Once constructed, the facility will produce secondary metals (cobalt, nickel, rhodium, platinum, palladium, copper and other non-ferrous metals) that can be reused as raw materials for new batteries or other applications, thus providing an essential service within the Li-ion batteries value chain, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting the transformation towards a low-carbon circular economy.
ELEMENTAL STRATEGIC METALS SP ZOO
Elemental is a Polish group that provides global collection and processing facilities across PGM operations and e-waste, with strong market presence in key markets across Europe, the USA and Asia.
Elemental Strategic Metals is a SPV established for the purpose of the project.
EBRD Finance Summary
Up to EUR 52 million long-term financing for the Group's green capex programme including: (i) up to EUR 38m for capacity increase of its state-of-the-art precious metals and li-ion batteries recycling facility located in Zawiercie, Southern Poland (currently under construction), and (ii) up to EUR 14m for the installation of photo-voltaic (PV) panels on the existing site in Zawiercie, to generate green energy predominantly for its own use.
Total Project Cost
The Project consists of capex financing.
The EBRD provides longer-term financing which allows the Company to implement the Project. In addition to that, EBRD enables an assessment of the Project technology with the aim of helping the Company to optimise investment decisions.
Environmental and Social Summary
Category B (ESP 2019). Environmental and social issues associated with the construction of a new battery recycling facility in Zawiercie can be readily assessed and mitigated based on an Environmental, and Social due diligence (ESDD). The ESDD concluded that the environmental and social impacts associated with the Project are site specific, and readily identified and addressed through established mitigation measures. The Project is structured to comply with the Bank's Performance Requirements (PRs) as well as National and EU legislation and is Paris Aligned.
The Bank Project is the construction of a new recycling facility in Zawiercie Southern Poland for platinum group metals in spent electric vehicles Li-ion batteries and auto-catalysts in Poland. This follows up from an earlier Bank financed Project with Elemental Group in 2021. The EBRD loan will finance the expansion of the facility for: (i) recycling of lithium-ion batteries, from EV and other sources (mobiles phones, laptops etc.) and (ii) recycling of spent auto catalysts which contain platinum group metals. The expansion of the Project's capacity envisage up to 4x original capacity for spent batteries and up to 2.5x original capacity for auto catalysts. The facility will also have integrated energy and waste treatment solutions. The on-site installation of 10MW PV panels will allow for better energy management and security. In terms of construction, the Company has now acquired the land, obtained environmental permits (following a local EIA) and currently awaits for the construction permit.
An in-house ESDD was undertaken based on meetings with Company personnel and the review of documents. The ESDD also builds on past experience with the Company and review of corporate Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) system and overall compliance status. The ESDD has confirmed that the site in Zawiercie is suitable for development and in line with local development plans and national environmental legislations with appropriate infrastructure such as water, gas and electricity. The Project is structured to meet EU BAT requirements as well as EU Taxonomy.
The Company has well-developed corporate EHS and HR systems and the capacity to fully implement the Bank's PRs. Environmental and occupational health and safety issues are managed through an integrated management system (IMS) as well as ISO 14001. The necessary resources and capacities are in place to implement the IMS and comply with the Bank's PRs. The Company is developing and integrated ESG management systems and reporting procedures for all its operations and will publish sustainability reporting in line with EU Requirements.
In terms of environmental procedures, the Company follows the requirements of Polish Regulatory Framework, which is complaint with EU Environmental Directives in Poland and National legislation in other operations. As part of the ESAP the Company will apply/benchmark with EU requirement where necessary to ensure consistent cooperate approach to E&S issues. The Company is focusing on recycling and the implementation of the Circular economy is at the core of the Company's activities. The new facility is designed to compliance with EU Best Available Techniques (BAT) requirements under the EU Industrial Emission Directive (IED). From a Circular Economy perspective, the Project fits well in the recently published EU Circular Economy Action Plan and will increase the potential to recycle platinum group metals from both catalysts and battery recycling. The Company recycles a number of rare metals (e.g. lithium, cobalt, platinum, palladium, manganese). Currently these metals are sourced mainly from non-European mines and their extraction is associated with high carbon and environmental footprint. Their recycling and reuse as secondary metals can substantially decrease associated greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. For example, carbon savings associated with secondary Platinum Group Metals amount to 92%-98% when compared to their primary counterparts. Moreover, application of secondary metals in batteries for EVs enables the transition to a low-carbon economy, thereby contributing to the climate change mitigation of the transport sector.
The new project will include the construction of an on-site PV solar farm to provide energy for the plant. The PV panels are to be procured in due course, the Company will implement the Bank's requirements with respect to supply chain assessment to assess and limit environmental, and human rights risks in the supply chain. The Company will fully implement EU guidance on human rights and supply chains as well as the Bank's guidance.
The Company is and will further implement corporate HR polices which include systematic HR audits to address potential labour issues at all its operations in Poland and abroad.
Based on the ESDD a comprehensive ESAP has been developed and preliminary agreed with the Company inclusive of implementation of compliance with the EU BAT requirement and circular economy concepts as well as supply chain requirements. The Company will also further strengthen its corporate ESG reporting and disclosure, inclusive of climate related financial risks in line with the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).
The PSD will be updated once the ESDD is completed and NTS developed.
The Bank will monitor the implement the Project.
Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing
Company Contact Information
PSD last updated
28 Oct 2022
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