Biden’s electric vehicle plan includes battery recycling push

Biden’s electric vehicle plan includes battery recycling push
President Joe Biden has made fighting climate change centerpiece of his agenda.
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Updated 05 June 2021

Biden’s electric vehicle plan includes battery recycling push

Biden’s electric vehicle plan includes battery recycling push
  • The White House would like to see more recycling plants open in the US: official
  • The administration is also looking for ways to reduce metal usage in new battery chemistries

NEW YORK: President Joe Biden’s strategy to make the US a powerhouse in electric vehicles will include boosting domestic recycling of batteries to reuse lithium and other metals, according to government officials.
As Biden makes fighting climate change and competing with China centerpieces of his agenda, the administration is set to wrap up a 100-day review of gaps in supply chains in key areas, including electric vehicles (EV).
These gaps include the minerals used in EV batteries and consumer electronics. The administration is also looking for ways to reduce metal usage in new battery chemistries.
Reports from various government agencies will be submitted to the White House, a process Biden ordered in an executive order earlier this year. Parts of the reports could be released publicly as soon as next week.
Democrats are pushing aggressive climate goals to have a majority of US-manufactured cars be electric by 2030 and every car on the road to be electric by 2040.
Securing enough cobalt, lithium and other raw materials to make EV batteries is a major obstacle, with domestic mines facing extensive regulatory hurdles and environmental opposition.
Reuters reported on May 25 that Biden plans to rely on mines in ally countries to supply much of the metals needed to build EVs.
The administration’s options to spur domestic recycling include direct investment in projects and scientific research, as well as spending funds approved by Congress.
Boosting domestic recycling would help the administration further that goal by breaking down older EVs into component parts for new vehicles and thus relying less on mining.
“When you look at the way the US has approached the recycling opportunity, what’s very evident is we need to invest in that capacity, we need to take a more proactive approach,” said one of the administration officials.
“A big part of the lithium opportunity is really recycling, and being a global leader in recycling the lithium from existing batteries and driving that into these new batteries.”
The White House would like to see more recycling plants open in the US, one of the officials said, noting the announcement last fall by China’s Ganfeng Lithium Co. of plans to build a battery recycling plant in Mexico to supply the US EV market.
The administration’s emerging strategy will also include a heavy emphasis on research and development intended to boost the use of already-mined metals, the officials said.
That plan would effectively expand on ongoing research at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, which has been the focal point for much of the government’s battery recycling research.
Extracting the various mineral components of a battery has proven difficult and costly in the past, and new research focuses on ways to reuse cathodes and other battery parts, according to Argonne researchers.
Washington’s recycling focus comes as other regions are doing the same. The EU is considering clamping down on exports of metal waste to encourage more regional recycling, part of an effort to become climate neutral by 2050.
Global EV sales topped 2.5 million last year, a figure that’s projected to jump 70 percent for 2021 and continue to rise through 2040, according to IHS Markit forecasts.


NEOM's tech arm, OneWeb sign a $200m joint venture for high-speed satellite

NEOM's tech arm, OneWeb sign a $200m joint venture for high-speed satellite
Updated 59 min 2 sec ago

NEOM's tech arm, OneWeb sign a $200m joint venture for high-speed satellite

NEOM's tech arm, OneWeb sign a $200m joint venture for high-speed satellite

Riyadh: NEOM Tech & Digital Holding Company – the first holding company to be established as a subsidiary of NEOM – and OneWeb, the global communications network powered from space, have signed a $200 million (SR750 million) joint venture agreement to bring high-speed satellite connectivity to NEOM, Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East and neighboring East African countries.

NEOM Tech & Digital Hold Co. and the new JV entity will have exclusive rights to distribute OneWeb services in its target regions for seven years from the initiation of the LEO satellite network, which is expected to commence in 2023.

The partnership will see the deployment of OneWeb’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation, which will not only provide the rapid and reliable connectivity to enable NEOM’s ecosystem of cognitive technologies, but also transform businesses and rural communities in the region where access to fiber-like internet was previously unimaginable, according to a statement.

The agreement also includes a long-term strategic partnership regarding research and development of future connectivity systems.

NEOM Tech & Digital Hold Co. and OneWeb, the second largest LEO operator with 358 satellites and the only licensed operator in Saudi Arabia, expect to complete ground infrastructure in 2022.

 


Saudi Aramco signs new initial deals during the FII

Saudi Aramco signs new initial deals during the FII
Updated 26 October 2021

Saudi Aramco signs new initial deals during the FII

Saudi Aramco signs new initial deals during the FII

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco signed five initial deals as it plans to expand its focus on emerging sectors to drive private sector innovation and investment, it said in a statement during the Future Investment Initiative.

"The Company is pursuing investment opportunities in projects that could potentially reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, following the recent announcement of its ambition to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions across its wholly-owned operated assets by 2050," it said.

The deals are expected to complement Aramco’s continued investments in oil and gas, with further announcements on its Jafurah gas program expected in the near future, it added.  

Amin Nasser, Aramco President and CEO, said: “Our plans illustrate our focus on developing innovative projects and investments, which support our long-term business strategy and aim to have a positive impact. Collaboration will be crucial in promoting economic development and creating new opportunities, as we expand our portfolio, diversify our business, advance low-carbon energy technologies and develop sustainable solutions.”

To move its program forward, Aramco has signed five Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the following companies:

  • Modern Industrial Investment Holding Group and Intercontinental Energy – an MoU to develop a green hydrogen and ammonia project in Saudi Arabia;
  • South Pole Carbon Asset Management Ltd. and Yousef Abdulrahman AlDhabyan Agricultural Est.
  • (YADGREEN) – two separate MoUs to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a National Green Services Company to develop and innovate nature-based solutions (NBS) that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • BFG – an MoU focused on localizing the manufacturing of advanced nonmetallic building materials, as well as collaboration in research and development;
  • ABB – an MoU to explore localization of digital technologies for oil and gas applications, including domestic capacity building in the Process Automation System (PAS) and instrumentation fields.

Greece wants to work with Saudi Arabia to deliver energy to Europe: Greek PM

Greece wants to work with Saudi Arabia to deliver energy to Europe: Greek PM
Updated 26 October 2021

Greece wants to work with Saudi Arabia to deliver energy to Europe: Greek PM

Greece wants to work with Saudi Arabia to deliver energy to Europe: Greek PM

Greece is keen to work with Saudi Arabia to help deliver energy harvested by the Middle East country to Europe, the Greek Prime Minister has said

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh, Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the current energy situation in his continent has made him look towards the Gulf for more supply options.

Mitsotakis said Greece is “forming a very strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia”, as he talked up areas of mutual interest, such as hospitality.

However, it was energy provision that was top of his mind, with Misotakis confirming Greece would be shutting down all its coal plants by 2028 at the latest.

He said: “We've signed an agreement with Egypt, but l'm sure there's also going to be a lot of interest in terms of extending these types of agreements. 

“Also, with Saudi Arabia, if this area has the capacity to produce very cheap electricity from renewables, and I'm probably referring to the sun, wouldn't it be of mutual interest to bring this electricity into the European market?”

He went on to claim natural gas could be supplied to Europe via a pipeline that goes through Cyprus, Egypt and Israel.

Mitsotakis argued that Greece and Saudi Arabia “live in the same broad neighborhood” and “share the same challenges”.

After his appearance on the forum's stage, he left with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

 


US consumer confidence recovers; UK pay rises: Economic wrap

US consumer confidence recovers; UK pay rises: Economic wrap
Updated 26 October 2021

US consumer confidence recovers; UK pay rises: Economic wrap

US consumer confidence recovers; UK pay rises: Economic wrap

RIYADH: Consumer confidence in the U.S increased to 113.8 in October, up from 109.8 in September, the US-based Conference Board said. Concerns about high inflation were offset by an optimistic outlook for the labor market. 

This suggests that economic growth might have recovered early in the fourth quarter. This comes after consumer confidence in the country declined for three months in a row. 

UK annual pay rises

Full-time earnings in Britain rose by 4.3 percent in April compared to the previous year, data published by the Office for National Statistics revealed.

Median full-time earnings increased to £611 ($843) in April. After adjusting for inflation, the increase was 1.7 percent.

Hong Kong’s trade deficit

Hong Kong's trade deficit expanded to HKD42.4 billion ($5.5 billion) in September up from HKD12.7 billion ($1.6 billion) a year earlier, Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department said. 

Imports grew by 23.5 percent to reach an all-time high of HKD484.2 billion ($62.3 billion), triggered by a significant increase in imports of electrical machinery and related parts.

Exports rose at a lower annual rate of 16.5 percent as it reached HKD441.8 billion ($56.8 billion). This was driven by jumps in the exports of electrical machinery, office machines and automatic data processing machines, and gold and silver products.

Brazil’s inflation

Monthly inflation in Brazil reached 1.2 percent in early October, Bloomberg reported, citing the country’s statistics agency. This will likely put some pressure on its central bank to raise interest rates there, despite plans for greater public spending in the country.

The hike in prices was driven by jumps in transport and housing costs, which increased by 2.06 percent and 1.87 percent respectively.

In addition, the country’s annual inflation rate rose to 10.34 percent.

 


EU and GCC should create greater supply lines, says French trade minister

EU and GCC should create greater supply lines, says French trade minister
Updated 26 October 2021

EU and GCC should create greater supply lines, says French trade minister

EU and GCC should create greater supply lines, says French trade minister

RIYADH: Global supply chains need to be rethought to reduce the impacts of humanitarian or geopolitical crises, France’s foreign trade minister has told the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh.

Franck Riester highlighted the health, energy and food sectors in particular as areas where the current system is susceptible to fluctuations, such as those caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The minister said the European Union is already seeking to diversify its suppliers in a number of areas, and flagged up closer working with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as part of this.

The GCC will be "good partners" in a post-pandemic world, he said.