The project led by the car manufacturer Renault with Veolia (waste and water treatment) and the Belgian chemist Solvay provides for the construction of a battery recycling unit with a capacity of 10,000 tonnes per year in 2023, followed by a second deployment "three times greater in 2028", specifies the Ministry of Industry in a press release.

The project of the Lyon-based recycler Mecaware and the Grenoble-based battery manufacturer Verkor aims to build an “industrial unit for the recycling of production scrap” from batteries and the reuse of metals.

"The support for these two electric battery recycling projects illustrates the government's determination to master the energy transition value chains," said Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister for Energy Transition, quoted in the press release.

"This challenge is strategic in two ways: it will allow us to move towards an increasingly circular economy and therefore with a controlled environmental footprint, but also to capture the critical metals essential to the energy transition", she added.

The France 2030 investment plan is endowed with 30 billion euros, including 950 million for projects for the production and recycling of so-called critical materials.

In November, an initial envelope of 100 million euros was allocated for projects to produce and recycle these materials to five companies: Imerys (lithium extraction in Allier), Viridian (lithium refining in Bas- Rhine), Eramet (recycling of Li-ion batteries), Sanou Koura (extraction of metals from electronic waste in the Ardennes), WEEECycling (extraction of metals from electronic waste in Seine-Maritime).

In January, the French mining group Eramet had also announced the conclusion of an exclusive memorandum of understanding with Électricité de Strasbourg (ÉS), a subsidiary of EDF, to study the development of a production of lithium from a geothermal source of 10,000 tonnes per year by 2030, which can be used to manufacture electric batteries.

During a visit to the site on Monday, the Minister Delegate for Industry Roland Lescure estimated that local production would produce 250,000 batteries per year.

"Here, we write the future", he welcomed, referring to "an industrial revolution of the 21st century in progress".

© 2023 AFP