England to construct Europe’s largest lithium hydroxide refinery

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The construction of Europe’s largest lithium hydroxide refinery, to be constructed on Teesside, has been granted planning permission. Tees Valley Lithium, an Alkemy Capital Investments subsidiary, has received full planning permission from Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council for the construction of a £250 million lithium hydroxide refinery at the Wilton International Chemicals Park in the Teesside Freeport.

Wave International has been selected as the lead contractor, and construction can now begin. The refinery will be able to produce both lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate from the high-quality feedstock. The feedstock will be imported from South America and lithium producers in Australia and elsewhere. Once fully operational, it is expected to produce 96,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide per year. This is equivalent to 15% of projected European demand.

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Plan for Europe’s largest lithium hydroxide refinery

“The full endorsement from the Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council is a vital step in taking TVL to its next phase. Thus, it will help develop the UK’s first lithium hydroxide refinery and spearhead a brand-new industry in Europe. This is as well as being a vital part of the fourth industrial revolution,” said Alkemy director Sam Quinn.

“This decision allows us to move forward quickly with our engineering studies ahead of construction. Consequently, it is set to begin in 2023.” The growing demand from electric vehicle OEMs emphasizes the critical need for notable lithium refinery capacity in Europe. Unfortunately, it does not currently exist.

“By strategically located in the Wilton International Chemicals Park, with direct access to comprehensive infrastructure and services, and within the Teesside Freeport, we will be able to enter the first production by 2025. Hence, we will begin offering our low-carbon battery-grade lithium to customers across the UK and Europe.”

“This approval is a significant point for the total UK/European green energy industry, with the TVL refinery being the first merchant lithium converter to achieve full approval status in the region,” said Wave International CEO Ryan Hanrahan. With a secured site, full approvals, and a feasibility study, TVL is now an advanced project and a peer group leader.”