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Galp and Northvolt form JV to develop a lithium conversion facility
With a 50/50 stake, the joint venture is aiming to develop Europe’s largest and most sustainable lithium conversion plant, to be located in Portugal, with an annual production capacity of up to 35,000 tons of lithium hydroxide and a start of commercial operations in 2026.
Galp and Northvolt have agreed to set up a joint company, Aurora, that aims to become a steppingstone for the development of an integrated lithium-battery value-chain aligned with Portuguese and European ambitions. With the main goal of establishing Europe´s largest and most sustainable integrated lithium conversion plant, the JV will develop a plant set to have an initial annual production capacity of up to 35,000 tons of battery grade lithium hydroxide – a critical material required by the lithium-ion battery manufacturing industry, which is expected to grow more than tenfold by the end of the decade, a press release reads.. The joint venture is currently conducting technical and economic studies and looking at several possible site locations. A final investment decision is yet to occur, but the JV is envisaging a start of operations by year’s end 2025 and start of commercial operations in 2026. Based on similar projects, the companies state in the press release that the plant could represent an investment estimated at around EUR 700 million and create as many as 1,500 direct and indirect jobs. The JV is also exploring the adequate energy transition funding options to reinforce the development of the project. The plant is said to be able to deliver lithium hydroxide sufficient for 50 GWh of battery production per year (sufficient for approximately 700,000 electric vehicles). As part of the agreement, Northvolt will secure an offtake for up to 50% of the plant’s capacity for use in its battery manufacturing.