UK’s First Lithium Refinery to be Built to Boost EV Industry

Automobile Business

United Kingdom’s first lithium refinery ‘Lithium Green’ is set to be built in Teeside, England in an effort to boost the electric vehicle supply chain of the country despite uncertainty over the future of the EV industry. Green Lithium, which is backed by the commodities trading firm Trafigura, will develop a 600 million pound refinery for the battery material at Teesport, the fifth largest port in the United Kingdom.

The supporters of the project aim to create 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and enough lithium hydroxide for 1 million electric vehicles every year. This move comes as a vote of confidence in plans to make north-eastern region of England a hub for green energy jobs. Britishvolt, which has planned to build a gigafactory worth 3.8 billion pounds, and the UK government hope to strengthen the supply chain for electric vehicles, before a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in 2030.

UK ministers have expressed concerns about the vulnerability of the supply chains for some important minerals, particularly the minerals that are supplied from China amid deteriorating political relations between the United States in recent years. According to reports, pure lithium is not found in nature, so pure lithium is obtained through refined extraction of lithium from hard rocks carrying lithium-bearing minerals.

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Around 90 percent of the lithium processing in the world takes place in eastern Asia. Green Lithium is planning to use a low energy process with renewable electricity, which will make the plant more capable of using hydrogen and capturing carbon emissions.  

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