Nevada battery recycler to build $3.5B plant in S. Carolina

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A battery recycler said Wednesday it will spend $3.5 billion and hire 1,500 workers on a new plant near the South Carolina coast.

Redwood Materials plans to pull out key components of batteries such as nickel, cobalt, lithium, and copper, and reuse them to make electrodes for electric vehicles, the Carson City, Nevada, company said in a statement.

The plant in Berkeley County near Ridgeville will drive down battery costs and emissions to build them and will also reduce reliance on foreign firms since currently so many components for electric vehicle batteries are made overseas, Redwood Materials founder and CEO JB Straubel said in a statement.

“South Carolina’s commitment to creating a secure energy future and a competitive landscape for electric vehicle manufacturing, supported by a world-class workforce, fast and efficient logistics, zero-carbon electricity and a phenomenal site made it a smart decision for Redwood to invest here,” said Straubel, who also was a co-founder of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla.

Redwood Materials said it will work with companies including Panasonic, Volkswagen, Volvo, Proterra and Envision to build its recycled batteries.

The plant is scheduled to open in 2023, company officials said.

The $3.5 billion is a record for one investment in South Carolina, said Gov. Henry McMaster, who has spent the second half of 2022 announcing several economic development projects around electric vehicles, batteries and parts.

“Our state’s strategic plan to remain a top destination for automobile manufacturers and their suppliers as the industry innovates is working,” McMaster said in a statement.

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