Malaysia-listed Ni Hsin Group Berhad has on Thursday signed a strategic collaboration with SIRIM Berhad to set up a lithium-ion battery recycling plant in Malaysia.

In a statement, Ni Hsin said its wholly-owned subsidiary Ni Hsin EV Tech Sdn. Bhd. (NH EV TECH) has inked the deal to set up the plant through public-private partnership (PPP) funding model.

According to the statement, the SIRIM-Ni Hsin lithium-ion battery recycling pilot plant will be fully operational in 2023 with annual recycling capacity of 550 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries.

For a start, the output will be sold to lithium-ion batteries manufacturers in the form of black mass.

“The setting up of a lithium-ion battery recycling plant is the right step in furthering Ni Hsin’s green mission in support of the government’s commitment towards a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive development in line with the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG),” said Khoo Chee Kong, Managing Director of NH EV TECH.

He said the collaboration also aims to create an eco-system for a circular economy model in mitigating the impact on the environment and to spearhead the formation of a lithium-ion battery recycling policy working with the government of Malaysia.

According to him, the current lithium-ion battery recycling market is estimated to be worth approximately $1.7 billion and is expected to increase significantly over the next ten years.

“In the ASEAN region there is only one such recycling facility in Singapore with a recycling capacity of 14 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries per day. Being one of the first movers in this region makes Ni Hsin more attractive to investors who are beginning to consider sustainability factors in their investment decision-making process,” he said.

Meanwhile, SIRIM President and Group Chief Executive Officer Indera Dr Ahmad Sabirin Arshad said under the green technology master plan 2030 of Malaysia, several strategies were outlined to create a low-carbon and resource efficient economy, thus, in complementing this master plan, SIRIM will be embarking on various projects towards enhancing and promoting sustainability in line with the SDG.

“SIRIM is ever ready to work with any parties who are keen to explore any form of recycling business where we can contribute in terms of the latest technologies towards building our local recycling capabilities for e-waste,” he said.

According to him, under this collaboration, both companies will focus on the recovery of precious metals such as lithium and cobalt in 2024 and embark on lithium-ion battery manufacturing 2025, when the volume by processing more lithium-ion batteries from other nations.

NH EV TECH is in the business of manufacturing, assembling, promoting and marketing of all kinds of electric vehicles (EV) and accessories and development of concepts, facilities and fittings using EV battery systems for the delivery industry.

The focus of NH EV TECH is in smart mobility and its applications with safer and more efficient charging in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly mode.

SIRIM is a wholly-owned company of the Malaysian Government under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

The firm is an organization for technology and quality solutions specializing in industrial research, technology development and commercialization; certification, testing and inspection; measurement and calibration; training; standards research and development; technology-based entrepreneurship; and design advisory.

Ni Hsin launches electric vehicle motorcycles in Malaysia