Houston battery recycling startup ACE partners with China’s GGE

Houston battery recycling startup ACE partners with China’s GGE
Houston battery recycling startup ACE partners with China’s GGE

Chinese real estate developer Green Giant Inc. is partnering with Houston startup ACE Green Recycling to develop a low-carbon battery recycling facility that aims to keep more critical minerals in Texas, the companies announced Thursday.

The Houston-area facility created through the partnership will incorporate ACE’s technology to recycle about 1,800 tons of lithium batteries annually. Green Giant said it would invest $3 million in the facility as well as purchase and develop the land. GGE invests $3 million separately in ACE.

More batteries – and the minerals to make them – are needed to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. The companies said they aim to be on the ground floor of an emerging Texas economy that will extract and recycle lithium and other precious metals from used batteries in the Houston area instead of exporting them overseas for recycling.

“There is only so much finite resource available from a mining perspective,” said ACE CEO Nishchay Chadha. “These metals are quite scarce. And so, when a country gets those metals through batteries, they want to keep those metals.”

The China-based real estate development company formerly known as China HGS Real Estate changed its name to Green Giant last year. The deal struck this week was between ACE and Green Giant Energy Texas Inc., the Houston-based subsidiary Green Giant created last year to partner with Texas startups doing business in clean energy areas such as electric vehicles, batteries and hydrogen.

GGE Texas CEO Junaid Ali said in an interview that the company was attracted to ACE’s technology because of its ability to recycle critical minerals using electric water-based processes that generate few emissions.

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“Their innovative technology based on hydro-recycling is a game changer because it is very environmentally friendly,” Ali said.

ACE said it uses a proprietary hydrometallurgical process that creates no solid or water waste. Outside of the agreement with GGE, ACE plans to develop another, larger battery recycling facility in Houston. It reached a 15-year deal with Swiss trading giant Glencore, which agreed to buy up to 100 percent of the materials recycled at that facility — a deal worth about $6.5 billion at current market prices, the company said.

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