Rock Tech plans battery metals plant near Berlin

(Photo: Rock Tech twitter account)
FRANKFURT, Germany —The Canadian company Rock Tech said Monday it plans to build a plant in Germany to refine lithium, a key element in the production of batteries, backing local carmakers in their transition to electric vehicles.اضافة اعلان

The plant, described as “Europe’s first” by Rock Tech, would produce around 24,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide a year — the equivalent needed to “equip 500,000 electric cars” with batteries, it said.

The company plans to invest 470 million euros ($543 million) in the plant, located in Guben, near the Polish border, 80 kilometers from the soon-to-be-completed Tesla auto factory in Gruenheide.

Slated to begin production in 2024, lithium refinement activities at the plant represent the step between extraction and the production of batteries for use in electric vehicles.

Already, a significant part of the 38 battery production projects planned for Europe are to be found in Germany, a traditional automotive powerhouse. 
The plant’s location offered “the best conditions for becoming a central component of the battery value chain,” Rock Tech said in a statement.

Electric car pioneer Tesla will expand its site in nearby Gruenheide to supply cells for its own vehicles with the support of the German state.

Legacy carmakers in Germany are also forging ahead with a transition to electric vehicles, and striking deals to produce the batteries that will be needed to power them. 

Volkswagen has paired with Swedish company Northvolt, while BMW announced last month that it would take a share in Franco-German battery-maker Automotive Cells Company.

The factory will be supplied primarily with raw materials from Rock Tech’s mine in Canada, but the company plans to use an increasing percentage of lithium recycled from spent batteries. 

“Around 50 percent of raw materials” will come from this source by 2030, the company said.

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