Albemarle Corporation announced its decision to build two additional processing trains at the Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant in Western Australia. The additional trains will be wholly owned and operated by Albemarle and would increase the facility’s production by 50 kilo-tonnes per annum (50,000 metric tonnes per annum).
Operating at full capacity, the Kemerton plant would produce up to 100 ktpa (100,000 metric tonnes per annum) of lithium hydroxide, supporting the manufacturing of an estimated 2.4 million electric vehicles annually.
Kemerton plant, March
The Government of Western Australia said that the estimated capital expenditure for trains three and four will be more than US$1 billion.
This investment, combined with the existing two trains at Kemerton owned by Albemarle’s MARBL joint venture, represents the biggest investment by any company in downstream processing of lithium in Australia and would make Albemarle the largest producer of lithium in Australia.
Australia is essential to the global supply chain for energy storage and an important part of our diverse portfolio. Our decision to expand was driven by our confidence in future demand and allows us to offer customers additional supply from Greenbushes, well known as one of the world’s best lithium mines.—Albemarle CEO Kent Masters
The expansion at Kemerton is part of Albemarle’s larger presence in Western Australia, which includes various interests and stakes in spodumene resources at Greenbushes and Wodgina.