Developers want to close a supply gap and take advantage of the increasing push for decarbonization, so they’ve hired WORLEY to help them design the country’s first lithium refinery.
To assist satisfy the increasing demand for electric vehicles, Green Lithium aims to construct a refinery in Teesside, United Kingdom, with the potential to produce 50,000 t/y of battery-grade lithium hydroxide. The United Kingdom’s Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre has issued a warning about the country’s significant economic vulnerability should there be any disruptions in the supply of lithium.
“There is currently no lithium refining capabilities in Europe,” stated Green Lithium CEO Sean Sargent. The UK and EU car and battery manufacturing industries cannot succeed without access to reliable local supplies. To put it another way, “Green Lithium will use a world-leading, sustainable, low-carbon refining method that has an 80% lower carbon footprint than traditional refineries in existing markets.”
Green Lithium, a company that produces battery-grade lithium from spodumene concentrate, stated last year that it had verified an acid-free and sulfate-free technique for doing so. Using renewable energy to its full potential, recycling waste heat, and eventually transitioning from natural gas to hydrogen are all ways it plans to lessen the refinery’s carbon footprint.
It is Green Lithium’s intention to put the refinery into operation by 2025. It states that Worley will supply engineering services for the plant’s front-end loading of various technological system support components. As part of this process, you will be creating philosophy documents for control systems and automation, as well as developing the right amount of engineering to strike the right balance.
The demand for battery-grade lithium compounds is expected to increase to 800,000 t by 2030, but Europe’s current lithium refining capacity is insufficient to meet that demand. According to Ross McPherson, Worley’s senior vice president of chemicals, fuels, and resources for EMEA, “this initiative is a step toward satisfying demand and increasing local lithium production.”
According to Green Lithium, over a thousand construction employment and two hundred permanent jobs will be generated by the refinery.