Rock Tech Lithium has announced plans to build a production plant for battery-grade lithium hydroxide with a planned investment of €470 million (£399m).
The facility in Brandenburg, Germany, is expected to be Europe’s first lithium hydroxide converter, producing around 24,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide per year.
That’s equivalent to the volume needed to equip around 500,000 electric vehicles (EVs) with lithium-ion batteries.
The European Commission estimates European lithium demand for EV batteries alone will increase 18-fold by 2030 and as much as 60-fold by 2050.
Rock Tech Lithium plans to obtain around 50% of the raw materials it uses from recycling spent batteries by 2030.
Chief Executive Dirk Harbecke said: “We are becoming the lithium partner of the automotive industry and are building our own, previously non-existent infrastructure for battery-grade lithium hydroxide in Europe.
“Our goal is to be the first company worldwide to create a closed loop for lithium. Guben seems to us to be the ideal location for this, with subsidies also playing a significant role.”
The converter is scheduled to start operations in 2024.