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Nevada battery recycler wins $2bn loan from Energy Department

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Nevada battery recycler wins $2bn loan from Energy Department

A Nevada company that recycles batteries for electric vehicles has won a $2 billion green energy loan from the Biden administration.

Redwood Materials, a recycling venture founded by the former chief technology officer at Tesla Inc., secured the conditional loan from the Energy Department’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program, which helped Tesla more than a decade ago.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced the grant Thursday at Redwood’s facility in Nevada with Gov. Joe Lombardo, where they spoke from a stage to dozens of employees.

“This region is leading the way to a broader story of what is happening in the country,” Granholm said, pointing to a map of 80 battery manufacturing or supply chain companies that are expanding or opening in the U.S. Most have been announced in response to the infrastructure law President Joe Biden signed in 2021 and the climate law he signed last year, she said.

Battery recycling will help the U.S. establish its own electric-vehicle supply chain, a major goal of the Biden administration as it seeks to move away from gas-powered cars in the larger fight against climate change. Biden also has promoted domestic production of critical minerals used in EVs and other electronics, as part of the climate fight and to counter China’s longtime dominance in the supply chain.

With Redwood and other projects underway, “China might be starting to worry,″ Granholm boasted. “And to that I say we’re just getting started.″

The Energy Department said its conditional commitment demonstrates its intent to finance the Nevada project, but several steps remain before officials approve a final loan.
Redwood Materials was founded in 2017 by Jeffrey “JB” Straubel, Tesla’s former chief technology officer. It now has more than 300 employees who recycle used batteries and has supply contracts with Ford and with Panasonic, which makes batteries for Tesla.

Straubel said the company already has more material than it can process from spent consumer batteries from lawnmowers, cellphones and toothbrushes, as well as production scraps from lithium-ion battery manufacturing.

The company says it can recover more than 95% of the elements in a spent battery, including lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and copper. The metals are then used to make anode and cathode components for new battery cells.

Redwood Materials “is going to play this outsized role in bringing the batteries supply chain home — because you’re focused on the pieces that we don’t have in the United States,″ Granholm told employees at Thursday’s event. “You guys are making history in this.″

Redwood Materials is expected to create about 3,400 construction jobs and employ about 1,600 full-time workers, the department said.

Redwood Materials’ history in Nevada started under former Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, who was in attendance on Thursday. It continued under Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak before the loan was conditionally approved under Lombardo, who acknowledged he was a latecomer to negotiations. The investments and subsequent jobs help fulfill a campaign pledge by Lombardo and past governors to diversify Nevada’s casino and tourism-based economy.

“This is what we’re going to have to do to have success in the state of Nevada,” Lombardo said. “We can’t have all our eggs in one basket.”

In December, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development awarded $105 million in tax incentives to Redwood, the second-largest capital investment in the office’s history, behind Tesla.

Last month, the Energy Department announced a conditional loan of $700 million to an Australian company to mine lithium in northern Nevada as the U.S. seeks domestic supplies for the key component in electric vehicle batteries.

Redwood also has announced plans to build a $3.5 billion battery manufacturing and recycling factory in South Carolina.

Once fully operational, the battery materials campus in McCarran, Nevada, outside Reno, will be the first domestic facility to support production of anode copper foil and cathode active materials for a lithium-ion battery manufacturing process. The process would recycle end-of-life battery and production scrap and remanufacture it into critical materials, the Energy Department said in a blog post.

Straubel, Redwood’s CEO, told The Associated Press last year that recycling battery materials will help the U.S. establish its own electric-vehicle supply chain. China now dominates the EV supply chain, including critical minerals needed for EV batteries.

“Redwood fills a critical gap in that whole piece, and our goal is to close the loop on all the materials that we’ve already mined and produced into products, keep them in the regions where they were bought and are being used,″ Straubel told the AP. “Every battery that we can recycle is one battery worth of materials that we don’t need to mine again.″

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ByteDance confirms layoff plan at its Indonesian unit

ByteDance confirms layoff plan at its Indonesian unit

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ByteDance confirms layoff plan at its Indonesian unit

China’s ByteDance will lay off staff at its Indonesian unit following a deal where it bought a local e-commerce firm and combined it with its TikTok operation, a spokesperson said on Friday.

ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, did not say how many employees would be affected. Bloomberg had earlier reported there would be 450 jobs cut.

In January ByteDance completed a deal to buy a majority stake in Tokopedia, an Indonesian e-commerce firm, from the GoTo group.

ByteDance spokesperson Nuraini Razak told Reuters in a statement the company would “make necessary adjustments” as a result of the combination of TikTok and Tokopedia.

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“We identified areas to strengthen our organisation and better align our teams with company goals,” she said, adding the company would “aim to support employees throughout this transition”.

ByteDance had its own e-commerce operation in Indonesia via its TikTok app, but that was banned under an Indonesian rule that social media applications could not operate as an e-commerce platform.

Tokopedia is one of the leading e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

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Indonesia minister threatens to shut down X over adult content

Indonesia minister threatens to shut down X over adult content

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Indonesia minister threatens to shut down X over adult content

Indonesia is prepared to shut down social media platform X if it does not comply with a regulation barring adult content, the country’s communications minister said on Friday. Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, has strict rules that ban the sharing online of content deemed obscene.

Minister Budi Arie Setiadi told Reuters he had sent a warning letter to X related to this matter.

“We will certainly shut its services down,” he said, pointing to Indonesia’s electronic information and transaction (ITE) law that can carry a six-year jail sentence if someone spreads pornographic content.

His comments in an interview come after the social media platform recently updated its policies to permit consensually produced adult content.

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X, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, has not responded to Indonesia’s warning letter, Budi said, adding the government would send more letters before deciding on a potential closure.

X, formerly known as Twitter, did not immediately respond to a request by Reuters for comment.

Indonesians are big users of social media and X has 24.85 million users in the country, according to data gathering business Statista.

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Japan watchdog recommends action on MUFG units over sharing of client data

Japan watchdog recommends action on MUFG units over sharing of client data

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Japan's securities watchdog recommended on Friday that the banking and securities units of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group opens new tab (MUFG) be penalised for what it said was unauthorised sharing of client information. The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) made the recommendation to the banking regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), which hands out such punishments in Japan. The recommendation, which was widely expected, followed the SESC's investigation into MUFG's banking arm, MUFG Bank, and its two brokerage ventures with Morgan Stanley (MS.N), opens new tab. The investigation found that confidential client information had been shared between MUFG Bank and one of the two securities firms on at least 26 occasions between 2020 and 2023. MUFG Bank also illegally offered preferential lending rates to clients that did business with the group's two securities brokerages, the SESC said. Japan's "firewall" regulations prohibit banks and securities companies in the same group from sharing customer data with one another without the customer's consent. The investigation found no evidence of insider trading, but monitoring and internal controls were lacking, the SESC said. MUFG group companies will make every effort to strengthen control systems in light of the recommendation and will take measures to prevent recurrence, the parent company said in a statement. The two brokerages were established in 2010, two years after MUFG invested in Morgan Stanley at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008. MUFG owned around 23% of Morgan Stanley as of March 2024.

Japan’s securities watchdog recommended on Friday that the banking and securities units of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group  opens new tab (MUFG) be penalised for what it said was unauthorised sharing of client information.

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) made the recommendation to the banking regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), which hands out such punishments in Japan.

The recommendation, which was widely expected, followed the SESC’s investigation into MUFG’s banking arm, MUFG Bank, and its two brokerage ventures with Morgan Stanley (MS.N), opens new tab.

The investigation found that confidential client information had been shared between MUFG Bank and one of the two securities firms on at least 26 occasions between 2020 and 2023.

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MUFG Bank also illegally offered preferential lending rates to clients that did business with the group’s two securities brokerages, the SESC said.

Japan’s “firewall” regulations prohibit banks and securities companies in the same group from sharing customer data with one another without the customer’s consent.

The investigation found no evidence of insider trading, but monitoring and internal controls were lacking, the SESC said.

MUFG group companies will make every effort to strengthen control systems in light of the recommendation and will take measures to prevent recurrence, the parent company said in a statement.

The two brokerages were established in 2010, two years after MUFG invested in Morgan Stanley at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008. MUFG owned around 23% of Morgan Stanley as of March 2024.

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