Tees Valley Lithium (TVL), a subsidiary of Alkemy Capital Investments, has received planning permission to build a lithium hydroxide refinery at the Wilton International Chemicals Park in Teesside, UK, following an environmental impact assessment and local consultation over an 18-month period.
Construction on the $300-million facility, which will supply the EV battery industry, will begin in 2023, and production is expected to commence in 2025. TVL claims the plant will be powered by 100% certified green energy, and will produce zero net waste.
Once in full production, the new plant is expected to have a capacity of 96,000 tons per year of battery-grade lithium hydroxide—equivalent to 15% of projected European demand.
TVL is currently in discussions with offtake customers including European gigafactories and EV OEMs. The company plans to import high-grade lithium feedstock in the form of technical-grade lithium carbonate and lithium sulphate from spodumene producers in Australia and elsewhere.
Process engineering specialist Wave International has completed a Class 4 feasibility study for TVL. As part of the study, metallurgical tests yielded ultra-pure lithium hydroxide that exceeds industry standards, and was validated by two third-party cathode active material manufacturers.
“The burgeoning demand from electric vehicle OEMs highlights the urgent need for significant lithium refinery capacity in Europe, which currently does not exist,” said Alkemy Director Sam Quinn. “Our strategic decision to locate in the Wilton Park, with direct access to comprehensive infrastructure and services, enables us to get into first production by 2025 and begin supplying our low-carbon battery-grade lithium to customers spanning the UK and Europe.”