Geothermal lithium producer Vulcan Energy Resources signed a Binding Term Sheet (BTS) with Stellantis for the first phase of a multiphase project aimed at decarbonizing the energy mix of the Rüsselsheim manufacturing site in the Upper Rhine Valley, Germany, by developing new geothermal projects.
In June 2022, Stellantis made a €50-million equity investment in Vulcan and extended their original binding lithium hydroxide offtake agreement (earlier post) to 2035. With the resultant 8% shareholding, Stellantis is the second-largest shareholder in Vulcan.
Vulcan’s ZERO CARBON LITHIUM Project intends to produce a battery-quality lithium hydroxide chemical product from its combined geothermal energy and lithium resource, which is Europe’s largest lithium resource, in Germany.
In the northern area of the Upper Rhine Valley in Rüsselsheim am Main, Stellantis maintains a large manufacturing facility in which the DS 4 and Opel Astra models are produced, including the electrified variants. This facility in the German state of Hesse is also the traditional home of the Opel brand and the German headquarters of Stellantis.
The planned project will be at the northernmost extent of Vulcan’s focus area in the Upper Rhine Valley.
The first phase of the project will include a Pre-Feasibility Study for the construction of geothermal assets for Stellantis’ Rüsselsheim facility, carried out by Vulcan and based on existing data. The following phase, if the first phase is successful, will focus on drilling and more advanced studies and development.
Stellantis will aim to source funding for 50% of the project development after the first phase.
Material terms of the agreement:
Vulcan will carry out a Pre-Feasibility Study for the development of geothermal renewable energy projects in Rüsselsheim as the first phase of the multiphase project.
he parties will seek public funding opportunities together to advance the project.
Vulcan will still own 100% of its Ried license at the end of the first phase, and the parties will each own 100% of their data and studies.
Vulcan will also perform a lithium mineral resource assessment according to the JORC Code (Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves).
Stellantis will pay back 50% of VUL’s contributions in the case the project does not go to the next phase.
Stellantis will aim to source and provide funding for 50% of the next phase of the project. The business model and project structure for the Project’s development in Phase B onwards will be negotiated based on the results of the first phase.
The agreement will continue until validly terminated in the ordinary course, or the event of a “No- go” decision at the end of one of the phases and Vulcan will continue to keep the market updated on developments in relation to the BTS and Project.