Novolito is created, the first electric vehicle lithium battery recovery and recycling company in the Iberian Peninsula

  • Construction will begin on the new plant, which will be located on the El Bayo industrial site in Cubillos del Sil (León, Spain) in the second half of 2023, creating around 50 jobs for its operation.
  • This facility, in which Euros 14 million will be invested, is part of Endesa’s Futur-e Plan, which aims to generate new industrial activity that will last over time in the area.

The Managing Director of Endesa Noroeste, Miguel Temboury, and Toni Massot, project manager at Sertego (Urbaser Group), today presented the new company Novolitio in Ponferrada, the company that will build and develop the first electric vehicle battery recycling plant in the Iberian Peninsula. Julián Martínez Bejarano, representing the Instituto de Transición Justa, and Miguel Martínez from the General Directorate of Energy and Mines of the Regional Government of Castilla y León also participated in the event.

This new facility, in whose construction Euros 14 million will be invested, is part of Endesa’s Futur-e plan, which aims to generate new industrial economic activity in El Bierzo, with which the company has a close relationship due to its activity with the thermal plant that was in Cubillos del Sil and is currently being dismantled.

Presentación Novolitio.URBASER

“This new company created today is one more step in Endesa’s commitment to the future in Castilla y León”, said Miguel Temboury, who recalled that “Novolitio responds to the current need to have a circular economy solution for the recovery and recycling of electric vehicle lithium battery components, and is a commitment to sustainable development and environmental protection. We are sure that, once operational, it will be a benchmark in Europe.”

“With this initiative, Urbaser is positioning itself in a segment with great potential for future growth,” said Aitor Jauregui, director of Sertego (Urbaser Group), “which will allow us to continue offering our clients environmental management solutions tailored to their needs. Urbaser comes forward as a major player with a leading position on an international scale in circular economy.”

The first electric vehicle battery recycling plant in the Iberian Peninsula will be located on the El Bayo industrial site in Cubillos del Sil (León) and its construction is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2023

The new facility, which will cover an area of 15,000 square metres, will have the latest technology on an industrial scale thanks to an R&D programme that has made it possible to implement improvements in the different solutions for extracting, diagnosing, discharging and recycling the battery components.

The new electric vehicle lithium battery management plant will make it possible to identify those batteries that still have an additional use and can be given a second life, and the rest will be submitted to a component extraction process, finding a new use for around 90 % of them.

Products recovered in the process


Novolitio will be responsible for managing the collection of electric batteries in Spain and Portugal, storing and transporting them to Cubillos del Sil for subsequent processing

in the new facilities where those batteries that cannot be reused will be electrically discharged, dismantled and subjected to a separation and grinding process that will allow the recycling of materials, such as aluminium, copper and plastics, 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 use of recycled metals significantly reduces new batteries’ environmental footprint and makes its production process more sustainable.

The new battery recycling plant, one of the 7 projects approved by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, the Regional Government of Castilla y León, the towns of Ponferrada and Cubillos del Sil and the University of León, will recycle 8,000 tons of batteries per year, generating 49 direct jobs in its operation.

Urbaser, which will participate in this initiative through Sertego, its subsidiary responsible for the integral and sustainable management of industrial waste, is a leading company in environmental management that is expert in the collection, storage and treatment of waste, present in 21 countries. Sertego will manage the twenty collection facilities from which the electric vehicle batteries to be processed at the Cubillos del Sil plant will be supplied. It will also direct its operation and maintenance.

Endesa, in addition to leading the project development, will add its management capacity and knowledge of electric mobility. With this initiative, it contributes to relaunching the El Bierzo region and expresses its commitment to the circular economy.

This project, plus the others approved for El Bierzo, have been selected as part of the Futur-e Plan to revitalise the region through a programme that foresees the occupation of the site of the former thermal power plant and the use of equipment used in the facility. These initiatives add up to around 160 new jobs and require an investment of more than Euros 260 million.

The business projects were selected through an international tender aimed at mitigating the end of the thermal generation activity, in accordance with the Brussels objectives. Among other actions, Endesa boosts this process with the development of 481 renewable megawatts (MW) in the area, the organisation of professional training courses, and by giving priority to local labour in the dismantling of the former thermal power plant.