Rock Tech Lithium plans $544 mn plant in Brandenburg

Ubitricity EV charging

Canada’s Rock Tech Lithium is planning to build a converter plant in Brandenburg, the German state surrounding Berlin, to make battery-grade lithium hydroxide for electric vehicles.

The plant will be in the town of Guben, a roughly 90-minute drive from where Tesla is building its gigafactory, which includes a battery cell manufacturing site with 50 gigawatt hours of capacity.

State energy minister Joerg Steinbach said the decision confirmed Brandenburg’s status as a centre for the development of electric mobility.

Rock Tech Lithium said the total investment for the site was up to 470 million euros ($544 million) and that annual production would be 24,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide, enough to supply 500,000 cars with lithium-ion batteries.

The converter is scheduled to start operations in 2024.

Several carmakers and battery cell players, including Volkswagen and China’s CATL, as well as Tesla, are expanding production capacity in Europe’s top economy as they bank on an expected mass roll-out of electric vehicles.

“We are becoming the lithium partner of the automotive industry and are building our own, previously non-existent infrastructure for battery-grade lithium hydroxide in Europe,” Rock Tech Lithium CEO Dirk Habecke said.