First electric vehicle battery recycling plant arrives in Spain

Urbaser, a pioneer in the installation of the first electric vehicle battery recycling plant in Spain 

18 october 2021, editorial web staff

This first electric vehicle battery recycling plant arrives in Spain as a result of the collaboration between Urbaser and Endesa. 

The first electric vehicle battery recycling plant will be installed in Cubillos del Sil (León) and will start operating at the end of 2023. With an investment of 13 million euros, the facility is part of Endesa’Futur-ePlan, through which the energy company will alleviate the end of the operation of the Cubillos thermal power plant, which is already in the process of being dismantled. 



The electric vehicle battery recycling plant is, once again, a clear commitment on the part of Urbaser towards sustainable development and environmental protection through circular economy.  The new joint venture (Urbaser and Endesa) will manage the collection of electric batteries in Spain and Portugal, their safe temporary storage and their transport to Cubillos del Sil for subsequent treatment.

 “The electric vehicle battery recycling plant is a clear commitment on the part of Urbaser towards sustainable development and environmental protection”.

The circular component of this alliance lies in the activity itself: reuse and recovery. In the new facilities of Cubillos del Sil, those batteries that can be reused will be adapted for this purpose. The remaining batteries will be electrically discharged, disassembled and subjected to a separation and crushing process that will allow the recycling of the materials present, such as plastics, aluminium and copper, as well as the “black-mass”, which constitutes the fraction rich in strategic metals, of great value in Europe, such as cobalt and nickel, both essential for the manufacture of new batteries.  



The project schedule has been defined with the aim of starting construction work as soon as possible, so that the plant can start operating by the end of 2023. However, it is planned to start the logistics activity in advance, so that the collection, transport and storage of the batteries, in safe conditions, will be brought forward to ensure the necessary volume that, in due course, will allow the plant to start up at full capacity.  

The development of these activities will generate around 50 direct jobs, plus as many indirect jobs yet to be quantified. This plant will meet the demand for recycling in both Spain and Portugal, with an estimated annual treatment capacity of 8,000 tons of electric batteries. 

With a budget of around 13 million euros, this project is part of the circular economy actions that Endesa has incorporated into its strategy, and whose promotion is being sought by both the Spanish government and the European Union through the Recovery Funds. 

Although the very nature of the new plant guarantees its viability, the capacities and strengths of its promoters, Urbaser and Endesa, certify a leading recycling facility on the Iberian Peninsula. 

It’s a project that encourages us to be optimistic about a more sustainable future. The recycling of electric vehicle batteries entails a great impulse for both the energy transition and the circular economy.