£50mn British Steel investment enhances wire rod business
The England-based steel company, British Steel, has confirmed its largest single investment in ten years after announcing a new £50mn ($56mn) project to enhance operations in its wire rod business, The Manufacturer reports.
It is hoped that the investment will enable the company to grow in current markets and progress in new ventures in the UK and abroad.
The project is expected to considerably improve the quality of wire rod manufactured at British Steel’s headquarters in Scunthorpe.
“This is a major investment in the future of our business, underpinning our commitment to providing customers with higher technical specifications of steel and a diverse, premium product range,” said Paul Martin, British Steel deputy CEO.
“Not only will this increase our ability to serve the domestic market, it will allow us to become a more competitive exporter and accelerate the growth of British Steel in line with our company strategy.”
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During its first three years of operation, British Steel has opted to invest £120mn ($156mn) in capital projects, having previously bought premium wire rod manufacturer, FNsteel, in The Netherlands.
“Our wire rod performs an essential role in letting people go about their everyday lives, from the car or bus they travel to work in, to the bed they sleep in at night,” stated Richard Sims, British Steel managing director Wire Rod.
“Today is also hugely significant for our employees whose skill, and dedication to customer satisfaction, enable us to invest with such confidence. Together we look forward to opening the new line and growing into the new markets this investment allows.”
The new operation is to be commissioned in August 2019 with work scheduled to begin this summer.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.