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Joint venture to build green battery recycling facilities in SA

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 16 Jan 2023
Reon Barnard and Liran Assness, co-founders of Tabono Investments.
Reon Barnard and Liran Assness, co-founders of Tabono Investments.

Local investment firm Tabono Investments has signed a partnership agreement with battery recycling platform ACE Green Recycling to build two environmentally sustainable battery recycling facilities in South Africa.

According to the companies, the green energy facilities will separately process and recycle lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, utilising ACE’s proprietary technology that creates zero scope one emissions by operating without fossil fuel-based heating.

Both recycling facilities will be greenfield projects to be developed and operated through the joint venture. Under the new structure, ACE will own 51% of the recycling facilities and Tabono will own 49%, according to the companies.

“Green energy is on the rise in South Africa and, with it, lead-acid and lithium-ion battery usage,” says Tabono co-founder Liran Assness.

“With dedicated environmentally friendly ways of recycling batteries, the world can leverage valuable materials like lead, lithium and cobalt, and power our future in a less harmful way.”

Once established, the joint venture will leverage each partner’s strengths, he adds.

ACE has developed a portfolio of proprietary technologies to recycle lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries and capture their critical materials at recovery yields.

According to the company, the process uses a 100% electrified, hydrometallurgical recycling process.

Tabono brings vast experience in the minerals and industrial services industries across Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania and SA.

Reducing e-waste

Lithium-ion batteries are primarily used in consumer electronics, and electric vehicles – technologies driving manufacturers to produce high volumes of new batteries frequently.

Despite this, less than 5% of used lithium-ion batteries are recycled, leading to vast amount of e-waste that goes to landfill.

The World Economic Forum has predicted that by 2030, the worldwide number of spent lithium-ion batteries will hit two million metric tonnes per year.

Sustainable battery recycling helps with environment conservation and preserving human health.

“We are committed to ensuring emerging markets benefit from our clean battery recycling solutions,” says Nishchay Chadha, ACE CEO and co-founder.

“Combining our expertise with Tabono will ensure development of safe and sustainable closed-loop solutions for battery materials within South Africa.”