January 26, 2023: Az-Lead, the Azerbaijan lead acid battery recycling company, is to receive a $4.2 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, better known as the EBRD. The loan will be guaranteed by the EU through the European Fund for Sustainable Development.
The company produces secondary (unrefined) lead bullion and refined lead ingots by recycling end-of-life lead batteries
“The investment is to boost the company’s recycling and refining capacity, improve lead-recovery rates and allow Az-Lead to increase its monthly production from 500 to 800 tonnes and eventually to more than 1,000,” says an EBRD spokesperson. “This will support the company in meeting potentially growing demand for recycled lead in the automotive and renewable energy sectors.
Az-Lead was established in 2014 and is located in the Sumgayit industrial zone about 20 miles from the capital city Baku. The company is the largest secondary producer of unrefined lead and the sole producer of refined lead ingots in Azerbaijan. The company exports all of its lead-based products internationally.
Matteo Patrone, managing director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus at the EBRD, said: “We are delighted to support our first circular economy project in Azerbaijan. Az-Lead is recycling batteries that would otherwise have ended up on landfill. With our support, the company is aiming to ramp up its recycling and refining capacity, which will boost Azerbaijan’s exports while protecting the environment.
“We are proud of the nature of this project and that it fully corresponds with the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.”