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Leading the Charge in Global Waste Battery Recycling: An Interview with John Oh

- 3 minute read

In a recent interview with John Oh, chief strategy officer (CSO) at TES, he shared his insights into how the company is positioning itself as a leader in the waste battery recycling market. Battery recycling is a critical component of the electronic waste management process, as batteries contain harmful chemicals that can have a detrimental impact on the environment if not disposed of correctly. Recognizing this issue, TES has been working to develop innovative solutions that optimize each stage of the battery’s lifecycle, maximizing its value while minimizing its environmental impact.


“The three most important factors in winning the market for recycling waste batteries are these: a dense collection network to secure future volumes of waste batteries, a prime location as a hub, and internalization of the technology for extracting rare metals. Together with our parent company SK Ecoplant, we have secured these three points and are ready for the global market,” said John Oh.


TES’s global presence in 23 countries and 46 sites is a competitive advantage. Strategic locations such as Rotterdam and Yancheng enable TES to respond effectively to the expanding market for waste batteries, especially with the increasing adoption of electric vehicles. The company’s government authorization, with more than 30 Basel permits, facilitates the global sourcing of feedstock, overcoming restrictions and ensuring a diversified supply chain.

This extensive network of worldwide processing facilities enables TES to deliver tailored services to meet the global needs of its customers. Global reach means solutions are delivered in accordance with regional and international compliance, safety, and environmental regulations, including carbon emission standards. Our local and global teams work together to navigate the complex regulatory requirements for battery transport, storage, and recycling.

Expressing confidence in TES’s potential to lead the waste battery market, Oh attributed the company’s success to its end-to-end solutions for waste battery recycling. With over 20 years of experience in electrical waste (e-waste) recycling, TES has become a global leader in sustainable practices. TES processes over 4 million items of e-waste annually for reuse and recycling and is a pioneer in building energy storage systems from discarded batteries.

As the market for electric vehicles (EVs) continues to grow, so does the need for effective battery recycling. The batteries used in EVs typically contain valuable metals, such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel, which can be reused in the production of new batteries. However, if these batteries are not properly recycled, they can become a source of environmental pollution.

Battery recycling not only helps reduce the environmental impact of EVs, but it can also provide a source of valuable materials and reduce the need to mine new resources. Recovery rates are a critical factor in winning market share in the battery recycling industry. Recovery rates refer to the percentage of materials that can be extracted from batteries during the recycling process. TES’s exceptional technological capabilities guarantee a high recovery rate for these critical minerals. In addition to being a competitive advantage, high recovery rates are also important for environmental sustainability. Recycling batteries reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, which can harm the environment. Battery recycling also reduces the need to mine raw materials, which can have a significant environmental impact.

TES’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its advanced recycling facilities and technological advancements. With operating facilities in key locations, including Singapore, Shanghai, Grenoble, and upcoming ones in Rotterdam and Yancheng, TES is well-prepared to handle the anticipated surge in electric vehicle battery waste. The company’s extensive experience in recycling lithium batteries for mobile devices contributes to impressive raw material recovery rates and rare metal purity.


“SK Ecoplant, together with TES, has logistics bases and technology in key EV and battery locations around the world,” said Oh. “We will stand out in the global EV waste battery market, which is expected to grow by leaps and bounds.”


Looking ahead, John Oh envisions TES as a standout player in the global electric vehicle waste battery market, which is expected to experience significant growth. With logistics bases and technology strategically positioned in key electric vehicle and battery locations worldwide, TES is well-positioned for substantial expansion. The company’s unwavering commitment to sustainability, coupled with its strategic positioning and technological expertise, indicates a promising future in the recycling of waste batteries.

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