Battery recycling slated for Latrobe

Michelle Slater

Locals are being invited to community consultation sessions to hear about plans for a large-scale battery recycling plant in Hazelwood North.

The Chinese-based Chunxing Corporation wants to process 50,000 tonnes of vehicle batteries into 28,000 tonnes of refined lead from a Fourth Road property.

Chunxing Australia chief executive Lakshman Jayaweera said the company was the largest battery recycling group in China.

He said the state-of-the-art factory would provide a complete recycling facility in Australia instead of having to send material overseas.

“This is bringing the most advanced technology into the region and I’m very confident this will be a success story,” Dr Jayaweera said.

“We are working with the EPA and we would like to consult with the community to make sure they are happy with this. We are being transparent in our process.”

Dr Jayaweera said factory emissions would be “minimal”, at five times lower than Environment Protection Authority standards.

He said local construction would be used for the initial $33 million investment and the finished factory would provide 50 full-time jobs.

“We’ve been looking at various other places but there are many advantages to coming to Hazelwood,” he said.

“Timelines would depend on approval processes and procedures. We hope this would be finalised by the end of the year and we hope to start construction in January.”

He said the company wanted to bring in material from Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and the Northern Territory for processing on the 13.3 hectare property.

“We will occupy 50 per cent of the property, most of the equipment will be inside and truck unloading will be done in-house, so it’s a clean operation,” he said.

“The rest will be landscaped and buffered.”

The community consultation sessions will be held at Kernot Hall on Wednesday, June 19, and Tuesday, June 25 from 5pm to 7.30pm.