UK’s first large-scale merchant lithium refinery announced

Source: The Engineer

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

Business secretary Grant Shapps yesterday visited Teesside to announce the UK’s first large-scale merchant lithium refinery.

Green Lithium’s refinery in Teesport, Middlesborough, will provide battery-grade materials for use in the electric vehicle, renewable energy and consumer technology supply chains. The company has been backed by £600,000 from the UK government, through the Automotive Transformation Fund.

The refinery promises to deliver more than 1,000 jobs in construction and 250 long-term high-skilled jobs once operational. It aims to produce 50,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium a year and enable manufacturers to build over one million electric vehicles.

Lithium is an essential component of batteries and a secure supply will be critical for the automotive and energy industries. Currently, 89 per cent of the world’s lithium processing takes place in East Asia and there are currently no lithium refineries in Europe. Green Lithium aims for this to be the first merchant lithium refinery outside of Asia.

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