Worley says it will begin supporting Green Lithium in building the UK’s first large-scale merchant lithium refinery, which will create a supply of low-carbon, battery-grade lithium chemicals to help meet Europe’s growing demand.
By enabling cathode, battery cell and electric vehicle manufacturing, it will facilitate decarbonisation objectives, green jobs and long-term economic prosperity, according to Worley.
The refinery will have the capacity to produce 50,000 t/y of battery-grade lithium – meeting 6% percent of Europe’s anticipated battery demand by 2030, according to estimates. This is enough to help produce one million electric vehicles annually.
Worley will provide engineering services for front-end loading of various supporting components of the plant’s technology system. This will involve developing the balance of engineering, supporting critical planning, and permitting activities, general constructability, and developing philosophy documents for controls systems and automation.
Ross McPherson, Senior Vice President, Chemicals, Fuels and Resources, EMEA, Worley, said: “Current lithium refining capacity in Europe doesn’t match the increasing demand for battery-grade lithium chemicals, which is projected to grow to 800,000 t by 2030. So, this project is a step towards meeting demand and accelerating local lithium production.”
Sean Sargent, CEO, Green Lithium, added: “Green Lithium is enabling our planet’s transition to sustainable energy by increasing the supply of low-carbon lithium chemicals to meet increased global demand. There is currently no lithium refining capability in Europe. Without localised supply, the automotive and battery manufacturing sectors in the UK and EU will fail.
“Critically, Green Lithium will use a world-leading, sustainable, and low-carbon refining process, which has an 80% lower carbon footprint than traditional refineries in existing markets.
“We have assembled an exceptional team, driving toward commissioning our refinery in 2025, and we are pleased to be working with Worley as an important delivery partner.”