Albemarle Corporation last week announced its intent for strategic investments in China to support expansion of the company’s lithium conversion capacity.
The company recently signed investment agreements with the Yangtze River International Chemical Industrial Park in the Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone (Jiangsu province), and the Pengshan Economic Development Park in the Pengshan District (Sichuan province).
"These agreements are important steps in our continued commitment to invest in new capacity that will support our customers' growth plans," said Eric Norris, president, Lithium. "We are excited to expand our network of high-quality, battery-grade hydroxide production capacity in China."
With these agreements, Albemarle will move forward with its design, engineering and permitting plans to build a conversion plant at each site, each of which has planned production capacity initially targeting 50,000 metric tons lithium hydroxide per annum. Subject to additional studies and approvals, it is expected these plants would start construction during 2022 and complete construction by the end of 2024.
"We are excited to work with our local teams in China to deliver Albemarle's next-generation lithium hydroxide plants," added Jac Fourie, chief Capital Projects officer. "These projects represent the next step in our Capital Excellence Program to capture benefits in speed to market, lower capital intensity, lower product cost, and improved sustainability."