Mercedes-Benz firms up plans for 2,500-tonne battery recycling plant

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Mercedes-Benz logo in Stuttgart, Germany, July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

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FRANKFURT, March 11 (Reuters) - Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz AG (MBGn.DE) on Friday firmed up plans to build a battery recycling pilot plant in Germany, part of a trend in which carmakers are trying to cut the use of scarce raw materials needed for electric vehicles.

Construction of the plant, to be located in the town of Kuppenheim, will take place in two stages.

In a first step, a plant for mechanical dismantling will be built by 2023, the company said, adding that hydrometallurgical processing of the battery materials would start after that.

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The plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 2,500 tonnes, Mercedes-Benz said, adding the recovered materials would be used to produce more than 50,000 battery modules for new Mercedes-EQ models.

"With our new recycling plant at the Kuppenheim location, we are increasing the recycling rate to more than 96% while expanding our own expertise in the area of battery value creation," Mercedes-Benz board member Joerg Burzer said.

"Through targeted collaborative ventures with high-tech partners in China and the U.S., we are globalising our battery recycling strategy and taking a decisive step toward closing the recycling loop in e-mobility."

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Reporting by Christoph Steitz Editing by Miranda Murray

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