In March 2018, Energy Capital Partners acquired Gopher Resource, a North American recycler of lead-acid batteries, operating two major recycling facilities in Eagan, MN and Tampa, FL.
Due to environmental regulations, no primary lead is smelted in the U.S. today. Instead, lead for new batteries, the primary use of lead, is predominantly sourced from recyclers such as Gopher. Lead can be recycled an infinite number of times.
Gopher’s facilities have low cost profiles and its Eagan, MN plant has a 70+ year track record of reliable production and continuous improvement. The business is highly contracted and most of Gopher’s volumes are fixed, multi-year “fee-for-service” contracts wherein Gopher recycles customer-owned batteries for a fee. This generates contracted revenue insulated from commodity price risk. Most of Gopher’s customer relationships are multi-decade, operating in a closed-loop system wherein customers deliver used batteries to Gopher facilities and receive recycled lead.