A North Carolina-based company will invest at least $1.3 billion to build a lithium hydroxide processing facility in Chester County.
Albemarle Corporation, headquartered in Charlotte, will establish South Carolina operations on 800 acres near Richburg, according to a news release. The “Mega-Flex” lithium hydroxide processing facility will transform resources such as lithium and bromine into critical ingredients that can be used for mobility, energy, connectivity and health, the release said.
The project will create more than 300 new jobs and support the surging demand for electric vehicles and other energy storage applications that use lithium-ion batteries.
“Albemarle is focused on meeting growing customer demand and this investment is part of our global commitment to transforming essential resources into critical ingredients that enable a more resilient world,” said Kent Masters, CEO for Albemarle Corporation.
The term “Mega-Flex” refers to the facility’s ability to process diverse lithium feedstock, including lithium from recycled batteries, according to the release. Once complete, company officials estimate the new facility will produce about 50,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from multiple sources, with the potential to reach up to 100,000 metric tons.
Construction is expected to begin in 2024.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project, according to the release. The council also awarded a $9 million Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Chester County to assist with the costs of mitigation, site preparation and infrastructure improvements.