Albemarle Corporation will invest over $1bn to build two additional processing trains at the Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant in Western Australia.
The two new trains will boost the facility’s lithium hydroxide production capacity – a key component of electric vehicle batteries.
New processing trains will double lithium hydroxide production
The Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant is located near Bunbury, Western Australia. It is the most modern facility of its type globally and the largest in Australia.
The facilities’ two initial processing trains reached mechanical completion last year – with the addition of the two new trains boosting capabilities significantly.
Albemarle will wholly own and operate the new trains, which will increase production by 50,000 metric tonnes per year.
Once the new trains are fully operational, the facility will produce up to 100,000 metric tonnes of lithium hydroxide annually – enough to manufacture 2.4 million electric vehicles.
Kent Masters, the CEO of Albemarle, said: “Australia is essential to the global supply chain for energy storage and an important part of our diverse portfolio.
“Kemerton is a world-class facility, and we’re proud to be making another significant investment in downstream processing in Australia.”
The project represents the largest investment by any company in downstream lithium processing in Australia – making Albemarle the country’s largest lithium producer.
Albemarle’s President of Energy Storage, Eric Norris, added: “This leverages Albemarle’s industry-leading technology and capability to design, build, and operate lithium conversion plants.
Kemerton is a world-class facility, and we’re proud to be making another significant investment in downstream processing in Australia.”
The expansion will provide employment opportunities
The expansion will open up a range of lucrative job opportunities. The Kemerton plant already supports around 480 operational jobs – 90% of which are from the local area.
The new trains will create a further 370 jobs, providing an extra boost to the local economy. The construction process will also require 1,000 skilled workers, which Albemarle plan to recruit locally.
Read the full article here