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Albemarle Building New $708M Lithium Processing Plant

March 28, 2019

American specialty chemicals company Albemarle officially kicked off construction work on its new lithium hydroxide processing plant in Kemberton, Australia this Thursday at an event attended by Australian and local government, including Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan and the U.S. Ambassador to Australia, Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr.

“In February 2018, I met with representatives from Albemarle in Washington D.C. to discuss the possibility of launching a lithium project of this magnitude in WA [Western Australia],” said Premier McGowan in a Western Australia government press release announcing the ground breaking. “I congratulate Albemarle on making this vision a reality.”

Investing AUD$1 billion, or more than $708.2 million, into the project, the Kemberton site will be the largest lithium processing facility in Australia when it becomes operational. The country is the world’s largest producer of lithium.

Albemarle’s plant will be callable of producing 100,000 tn/yr of premium battery-grade lithium hydroxide. Material produced at the plant will be used by the lithium-ion battery industry. About 500 new jobs are expected to be created when the plant opens. 

The company initiated earthworks at the Kemberton site in January, Powder & Bulk Solids reported. Work on the facility is expected to reach completion in 2021. 

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