Lithium plant announced alongside Tesla Giga Berlin

By Charles Morris

Once Tesla’s new Berlin Gigafactory starts producing batteries, it will require a lot of lithium, among other raw materials. We don’t know how well Tesla is working with German industrial planners, but we do know that European policymakers have a strategy to establish all of the key elements of a local supply chain for the growing electric vehicle industry. It is therefore unlikely to be a coincidence that a lithium processing facility is planned for a location very close to the Gigafactory.

Tesla Giga Berlin. Screenshot from Tesla’s YouTube video.

Rock Tech Lithium, a company with offices in Canada and Germany, plans to build a battery-grade lithium hydroxide production plant in Guben, Brandenburg. The company has acquired a 12 hectare site in the industrial area of ​​Guben Sud, a few kilometers from the Gigafactory site in Grünheide.

Rock Tech intends to locate all stages of lithium refining production in a single plant at the Guben site, which it envisions as part of an “electric mobility cluster” taking shape in the Brandenburg region. . The company plans to invest up to € 470 million in the new plant, which is expected to employ some 160 technicians, engineers and production staff. The expected annual production is 24,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide, enough to power around 500,000 electric vehicles.

The converter is expected to start operations in 2024. Renewable energy of local origin must be used for production. By 2030, the company plans to obtain around 50% of the raw materials it uses from recycling used batteries.

“We are becoming the lithium partner of the automotive industry and building our own previously non-existent infrastructure for battery grade lithium hydroxide in Europe,” said Dirk Harbecke, CEO of Rock Tech Lithium. “Our goal is to be the first company in the world to create a closed loop for lithium. Guben seems to us to be the ideal place for this, with grants also playing an important role.

“With Rock Tech Lithium, we are strengthening our position as a future center for European electric mobility,” said Jörg Steinbach, Minister of Economy, Labor and Energy of the State of Brandenburg. “In the future, Brandenburg will be home to the entire value chain, from the processing of raw materials to the production of batteries and cells, to the construction of electric cars and the recycling of batteries.

This article originally appeared in Charged, via EVANNEX. Source: Rock Tech Lithium

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