Green Lithium, a merchant lithium refiner, unveiled Teesport in Middlesbrough as the site for the forthcoming lithium refinery.
East Asia currently accommodates 89% of the world’s lithium processing and there are currently no lithium refineries in Europe. Green Lithium aims for this to be the first merchant lithium refinery outside of Asia.
Lithium is an essential component of batteries and a secure supply is critical for automotive and energy industries. Critical minerals, such as Lithium, are at high risk of supply disruption, because of volatile markets and complex supply chains. The world in 2040 is projected to need four times more critical minerals than it does today.
In visiting Teeside and announcing the refinery, business secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re backing companies, like Green Lithium here in Teesside, to grow the new, green industries across the UK, sparking jobs and growth for decades to come.
“This is levelling up in action. The refinery will deliver more than 1,000 jobs during its construction and 250 long-term, high-skill jobs for local people when in operation. It is also allowing us to move quickly to secure our supply chains of critical minerals, as we know that geopolitical threats and global events beyond our control can severely impact the supply of key components that could delay the rollout of electric vehicles in the UK.”
The UK Government has backed Green Lithium with a grant of over £600,000 ($707,352) through the Automotive Transformation Fund.