Tesla Weighs New Lithium Refinery in Texas

Tesla Weighs New Lithium Refinery in Texas

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Tesla Inc. is plotting a possible lithium refinery on the gulf coast of Texas, a transfer that may bolster the corporate’s battery manufacturing efforts and additional broaden its footprint within the state.

The electrical automotive maker has informed officers that it’s contemplating setting up a “battery-grade lithium hydroxide refining facility,” in Nueces County, which it has pitched as “the primary of its sort in North America,” in line with a newly public software for tax breaks filed with the Texas Comptroller’s Workplace.

If constructed, Tesla informed the state that the ability would course of “uncooked ore materials right into a usable state for battery manufacturing.” The ensuing lithium hydroxide it creates can be “packaged and shipped by truck and rail to numerous Tesla battery manufacturing websites supporting the mandatory provide chain for large-scale and electrical automobile batteries.”

Tesla additionally stated the method it would use is “progressive and designed to eat much less hazardous reagents and create usable byproducts in comparison with the standard course of.”

Development might start as quickly because the fourth quarter of 2022, however wouldn’t attain business manufacturing till the fourth quarter of 2024. Tesla has informed the state that the ability may very well be positioned “wherever with entry to the Gulf Coast delivery channel,” however that the corporate is evaluating a competing web site in Louisiana.

Tesla didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Tesla’s shares rose 1.3% as of seven:56 a.m. in New York.

CEO Elon Musk has spent a lot of the final yr agitating for fast growth in lithium mining in North America, evaluating the chance to the fats margins sometimes made within the software program trade.

“I’d prefer to as soon as once more urge entrepreneurs to enter the lithium refining enterprise. The mining is comparatively simple, the refining is way more durable,” Musk stated on Tesla’s second-quarter earnings name in July. “You possibly can’t lose, it’s a license to print cash.”

Dozens of initiatives are underway so as to add related crops in different nations, together with developments in Germany and Australia, which started manufacturing at a primary refinery earlier this yr. Albemarle Corp., the world’s prime lithium producer, is planning to construct a brand new processing web site within the southeastern U.S.

China dominates lithium refining and has greater than half of worldwide capability to course of uncooked supplies harvested at mines or from salt-rich underground brines into the specialist chemical compounds utilized in EV batteries.

A lithium mining facility can be simply the newest addition to Musk’s rising Texas empire. Past the brand new automotive manufacturing unit in Austin that began manufacturing this yr, Musk has constructed out an enormous rocket prototyping and launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas. His tunneling outfit, The Boring Firm, can also be pursuing quite a few initiatives throughout the state.

Tesla has beforehand utilized for permits to make related battery supplies adjoining to its Austin manufacturing unit, although the present standing of the challenge is unclear.


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