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April 24, 2024

Ascend selects U.K firm to sort out logistics at $1B Kentucky EV recycling facility

A large manufacturing facility under construction Image | Courtesy of Ascend Elements Ascend Elements’ Apex 1 facility in Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Faced with the task of operating a 1-million-square-foot electric vehicle battery recycling facility set to produce materials for up to 750,000 electric vehicles per year, Westborough-based Ascend Elements has tasked a professional services firm to help figure out the logistics of operating the Kentucky based plant.

EY US, the American wing of U.K-based professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP, has been brought in to create a logistics simulation model to help Ascend reduce carbon emissions and figure out the complexities of operating the Apex 1 EV battery materials manufacturing facility in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the company expects to begin operations in the first quarter of 2025. The company expects the 150-acre plant to ship 450 metric tons of new materials per week, according to a press release issued by Ascend on Wednesday.

“As you can imagine, a project of this size and scope requires a lot of logistics planning,” Rodrigo Almeida, senior director of supply chain at Ascend Elements, said in the press release. “EY US is using its experience and insight to help us anticipate logistical challenges and optimize our operations to achieve world-class efficiency and minimal impact on the community.”

This logistics simulation model will be able to run a number of different scenarios to help Ascend determine the most efficient way to operate the plant and manage the flow of trucks. 

“We had a lot of questions about traffic flow and timing that the simulation helped us understand,” Bruno Feitosa, an industrial engineer at Ascend Elements, said in the release. “How many trucks can the site accommodate at one time? Will trucks have room to queue up onsite without creating unnecessary traffic on local roads? How long will it take to load and unload each truck? Do we need to take deliveries 24 hours a day, or can we load and unload in the daytime only? Understanding the answers to these questions is essential to plan for optimal efficiency and safety.”

Ascend raised more than $1 billion last year to support the construction of the Kentucky facility. In April, the company announced plans for additional EV battery recycling plants in Europe. 

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