The EV Metals Group acquired the battery materials and technology business of Johnson Matthey in 2022. Now subsidiary EV Metals Arabia has advanced its plans to build a battery material processing plant in Saudi Arabia.
EVM Arabia has been awarded an allocation of 127 hectares of land from The Royal Commission at Yanbu and a gas and power allocation from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Energy.
EVM says its planned Battery Chemicals Complex will position Saudi Arabia as “a global midstream hub for the production of high-purity chemicals required by electric vehicle and battery cell manufacturers.” Construction is scheduled to commence in Q3 of this year.
The complex, which comprises a Lithium Chemicals Plant and a Nickel Chemicals Plant, will process intermediate feedstock from Western Australia to produce high-purity chemicals containing lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese and other metals for downstream production of cathode active materials. The company is also exploring for critical minerals within the Kingdom, and eventually hopes to develop a local Saudi supply chain.
EVM’s gas allocation is equivalent to a daily amount of 6,240,000 cubic feet of methane gas. This will be used for the first two processing trains in the Lithium Chemicals Plant to produce lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM). The commissioning of the first two trains of LHM will commence in 2026 and ramp to an annual production capacity of 50,000 tons per annum. This will be followed by an additional four trains, bringing total production to 150,000 tpa of LHM.
“Our Battery Chemicals Complex is strategically located to serve demand for high-purity chemicals from electric vehicle and battery cell manufacturers both locally, and from target markets in Europe and North America looking for stable and transparent supply chains,” comments Michael Naylor, CEO of EVM Group.
Saudi Arabia has a strategy, called Vision 2030, to reduce ‘s dependence on oil and diversify its economy. These are worthy goals, but EVM’s project, which apparently involves using fossil fuel to process battery materials shipped from another continent, would seem to be out of step with current trends. Battery producers such as Verkor are locating new battery plants near sources of renewable energy, and what policy-makers in North America and Europe really want is to establish mineral supply and processing capacity within their regions.
Source: EV Metals Group