Rock Tech Lithium has announced the construction of a battery-grade lithium hydroxide plant in Guben, Brandenburg, just 37 miles from Tesla's Grünheide factory. It plans to produce about 24,000 tons of raw materials per year, which is enough to produce batteries for about 500,000 electric vehicles.
Tesla has big plans for development in Germany. In addition to the car factory, the manufacturer is building a battery factory there that will produce the latest 4680 battery cell form factor. Giga Berlin will produce 50-gigawatt hours of battery cells annually. When the factory is completed, it will be the largest battery manufacturing plant in Europe. However, this is only an initial plan, and in the future, Tesla CEO Elon Musk hopes to produce around 250 gigawatt-hours per year.
However, in order for this to be possible, Tesla will need a lot of materials to make batteries—and buying them as close to the factory as possible can significantly save production costs. The American manufacturer is an attractive customer and has become a magnet for companies, including lithium miners.
Rock Tech Lithium, a German-Canadian company headquartered in Vancouver, has announced the construction of a "converter plant" in the Brandenburg region, just 37 miles from Giga Berlin. The manufacturing facility is expected to create 160 jobs and the plant is to be built in 2024, according to Handelsblatt. Rock Tech estimates the planned total investment in Guben at up to €470 million.
In a statement, Rock Tech said it wants to be a central component of the battery value chain and thus part of the Brandenburg e-mobility cluster. Rock Tech CEO Dirk Harbecke said: "Brandenburg will be one of the first regions in Europe to cover nearly the entire EV value chain." The lithium for the company's own plant will come from a mine in Canada.
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