Ascend Elements Secures $542 Million for Battery Materials Production in US

The company will construct a sustainable cathode precursor & cathode active material manufacturing facility


Ascend Elements, a lithium-ion battery recycling and engineered materials company has raised $542 million in new equity investments. The funding includes $460 million from its Series D investments and an additional $82 million from earlier this year.

The Series D round was led by entities such as Decarbonization Partners, Temasek, and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

Goldman Sachs served as the sole placement agent for the Series D transaction.

Ascend Elements aims to produce sustainable, engineered battery materials on a commercial scale that will drive the electrification of transport and hasten the global transition to zero carbon emissions.

The newly acquired funds are expected to drive the construction of Ascend Elements’ Apex 1 facility in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, slated to be North America’s first sustainable cathode precursor (pCAM) and cathode active material (CAM) manufacturing facility.

CAM and pCAM are engineered materials manufactured to precise microstructure specifications for electric vehicle batteries.

CEO Mike O’Kronley said, “I’d like to thank our new and existing partners for helping us deliver on our vision of producing sustainable, engineered battery materials at a commercial scale. Our sustainable lithium-ion battery materials will power EV batteries and accelerate the global transition to zero carbon emissions. Together, we are investing in North America’s critical EV battery infrastructure and bringing good manufacturing jobs back to the United States.”

The company claimed its patented Hydro-to-Cathode direct precursor synthesis process eliminates multiple intermediary steps in the traditional cathode manufacturing process, offering substantial economic and carbon reduction benefits.

Independent studies have shown that Ascend Elements’ recycled battery materials perform as well as similar materials made from virgin sources, all while reducing carbon emissions by up to 93%, the company added.

Over the past year, Ascend Elements secured its first commercial-scale pCAM contract, commencing construction of its Apex 1 facility, and secured two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grants totaling $480 million as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in October 2022.

In June 2023, Ascend Elements signed a $1 billion contract to supply sustainable pCAM starting in Q4 2024, with options to expand the multi-year contract to a larger quantity valued at up to $5 billion.

Construction of the Apex 1 facility, spanning a 140-acre site in southwest Kentucky, began in October 2022. The company said once complete, the 1-million-square-foot facility will produce enough sustainable pCAM for 750,000 electric vehicles annually.

Last September, Ascend Elements announced a strategic investment of $50 million from SK Ecoplant, the environmental unit of Korean conglomerate SK Inc.

In November, the company raised $300 million in equity and debt financing. The funding round includes $200 million in Series C equity investments led by Fifth Wall Climate and joined by the SK Eco plant.


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