Galp, a Portuguese oil and gas company, is working with Swedish battery startup Northvolt to develop Europe’s largest. lithium Processing plant as part of the transition from fossil fuels.
A 50-50 joint venture called Aurora aims to produce 35,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide annually, sufficient for a 50GWh battery capacity that can power approximately 700,000 electric vehicles.
The plant is located in Portugal, with the largest lithium deposit in Western Europe, investing up to € 700 million “based on similar projects” and creating jobs for as many as 1,500 people, the two companies said.
The joint venture wants to procure lithium for the project from the Iberian Peninsula and will power the refinery, which aims to start commercial operation in 2026, after the final investment decision is made. Aims to use renewable energy for.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to relocate Europe as an essential industry leader to reduce global CO2 emissions,” said Andy Brown, CEO of Galp.
Already one of the largest solar energy generators in Spain and Portugal, Galp is responding in part to investor pressure to prioritize cleaner energy and reduce investment in fossil fuels.
demand lithiumAccording to the International Energy Agency, an important material for electric vehicle batteries, is projected to grow by 4,000% by 2040. A typical electric vehicle battery pack contains about 8 kg of lithium.
However, Europe and the United States have almost no domestic processing capacity.
In this year’s report, the US Department of Energy stated that China refined 60% of the world’s lithium, demonstrating its superiority as “a significant vulnerability to the future of the US domestic automotive industry.”
Lithium prices soared this year as supply struggled to keep up with rising demand. Lithium carbonate and hydroxide price indicators compiled by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence rose 240% this year.
Backed by investors such as Goldman Sachs, BMW and IKEA, Northbolt is Europe’s most advanced set of battery startups. This month, we opened our first factory in northern Sweden and have a broad partnership with German car maker Volkswagen. Agreed to purchase half of the joint venture’s production for use in battery manufacturing.
Portugal used its deposits to build an “end-to-end lithium chain” Electric vehicle industry In Europe, almost all battery grade lithium is currently imported from outside the EU.
However, the recent surge in lithium mining rights in Portugal Triggered demonstration Petitions concerned about the environmental impact of communities and other groups.
Garp is discussing potential investments in the Portuguese business of a savanna resource mining company that owns a barrosolithium ore mine in northern Portugal.
Savannah shares rose in January after Garp signed a preliminary agreement to buy a 10% stake in the mine. This could be Europe’s first major lithium producer, according to Savannah.
The British company announced in June that its contract had expired, but said it was still in talks with Galp and other interested investors.
The Galp-Northvolt joint venture is the second announcement of this week on a lithium refinery in Portugal. On Monday, Portugal’s Bondalty Chemicals and Lead Advanced Materials announced plans to build a processing plant of 25,000 tonnes annually.
Savannah CEO David Archer said the announcement represents Portugal’s “strong lead” in lithium production in Europe. “It’s only a matter of time before Europe establishes itself as a leader in EV battery production,” he said.
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