The Korea Herald


SK Ecoplant's subsidiary sets up 4th plant in US

By Kim So-yeon

Published : March 2, 2023 - 15:10

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A photo shows SK Ecoplant's IT asset disposition plant recently completed in Las Vegas. (SK Ecoplant) A photo shows SK Ecoplant's IT asset disposition plant recently completed in Las Vegas. (SK Ecoplant)

SK Ecoplant announced Wednesday that it has completed construction of its e-waste and waste battery recycling base in Las Vegas, through its overseas subsidiary TES. The 3,700-square-meter IT asset disposition plant in Las Vegas is TES' fourth US base, following others in Seattle, Atlanta and Fredericksburg, Virginia.

IT asset disposition mainly refers to the complete destruction of information stored in IT assets, ranging from smartphones to data center equipment. TES is developing ITAD as one of its main businesses, setting their final goal as minimizing the amount of IT asset waste and making it reusable. After the ITAD process, IT assets are resold as refurbished products or are dismantled and sold as parts or materials.

Nevada is a key location for the battery industry. US electric vehicle company Tesla announced an investment plan worth $3.6 billion to build production facilities for electric vehicle batteries in Nevada.

A coalition has also been launched in the same state to promote the construction of a battery ecosystem. Stakeholders including Tesla and Albemarle, the world's largest lithium producer.

SK Ecoplant expects the Las Vegas plant to serve as an outpost to secure supplies for the waste battery recycling business that is strategically being pursued in the future. Governments have proposed a series of laws to limit the supply of key minerals used in batteries, such as the US Inflation Reduction Act and European Critical Raw Materials Act, increasing the importance of securing regional bases.

"We will dominate global customers through the waste battery base secured by TES, which has global processing facilities," said SK Ecoplant CEO Park Kyoung-il. "Ultimately, we will develop the value chain of waste battery recycling and complete a closed loop that puts rare metals recovered from waste batteries back into battery manufacturing."