Green Lithium Teesside Project

1. What is Green Lithium and what does the ‘green’ mean?

  • Green Lithium Refining Limited (Green Lithium) is a UK-based company that is going to build the first large-scale ‘merchant’ lithium refinery, creating a supply of low-carbon, battery-grade lithium chemicals to sell into the lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle (EV) supply chains. Please check out our website to find out more at: Building the UK's first merchant lithium refinery | Green Lithium
  • The ‘green’ within Green Lithium stands for our commitment to the environment and a sustainable future. This commitment is at the heart of our lithium refining process and the refinery’s design itself. The process we use produces zero harmful waste; in fact, it produces not only lithium but also by-products that are not harmful and can be reused in other industries. The refinery’s design will adopt the latest clean-energy technology such as hydrogen gas fuel, solar power, carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) and waste heat recycling. All of which will ensure we have a plant that will operate at 75% lower emissions than the equivalent Chinese refineries.

2. Does Green Lithium face similar challenges to Britishvolt?

  • Established battery makers have been developing their technologies for decades, benefitting from years of incremental improvements. Britishvolt was developing an in-house technology to compete with the majors. This requires significant time and spending on R&D internally.
  • Green Lithium is using the proven lithium refining hydrometallurgy technology from Metso Outotec, which has been developing the process for years and will adopt commonly-used and commercialised technologies for the remainder of the refining process. Green Lithium has already produced finished product in continuous pilot-scale testing – the output exceeded current markets requirements. Green Lithium’s main technical risk/challenge will be integrating novel technologies to deliver the targeted 75% lower CO2 emissions than the current market and to develop downstream applications for the process by-products.

3. Is this development affected by the recent gigafactory refusal?

  • No, with the volumes that Green Lithium is predicting to produce we will be selling into the broader European EV markets, where UK and EU cathode active material (CAM) and cell manufacturers are based.

4. Will the refinery create pollution and hazardous waste within our area?

  • No, our refinery produces zero harmful waste. All gases released into the atmosphere will be natural. All by-products produced will be reusable within other industries. Apart from rainwater and sewage that will tie into existing infrastructure, we will have a zero-liquid discharge scheme in operation.
  • Furthermore, our planning application requires us to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) through an independent third party. The assessment covers the following areas:
  • Air quality
  • Sensitive habitats and ecology
  • Noise and vibration
  • Visual impact
  • Odour, dust and pollution
  • Transport
  • Cultural heritage
  • Waste generation
  • Carbon and greenhouse gases

The assessments are ongoing. However, if any results of the assessment demonstrate that we will have a negative impact on the surrounding areas, we will not receive the required planning consent from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. All the assessments and their respective results will be posted on our webpage once available.

5. How will the local community benefit from this project?

  • During the design phase, the Teesside project will create 100-200 job opportunities, while the following construction phase will create a further 1,000+ jobs.
  • Once we are operating, there will be 200-250 permanent job opportunities.
  • In parallel to our steady state operational refinery, there will be need for support services, creating an estimated 650+ jobs opportunities. These would include areas such as outage and maintenance services, welfare, catering, and cleaning services.
  • We will look to grow local capability through graduate schemes and apprenticeships.

6. Where will the refinery be located and will it be visible from local towns?

  • The refinery will be located within the PD Ports facility on Kinkerdale Road in Middlesbrough. The total area of the proposed site is 61 acres. However, approximately 45 acres of that will be physical internal process plant, warehouses, offices and storage.
  • No, our site will be situated within an area of the PD Ports estate that is surrounded by other large industrial sites such as the BOC Gas Plant, Lackenby Steel Works, MGT Biomass, Tesco RDC and the Teesworks South Bank Facility. All of which will mean you will not be able to see our facility from nearby towns and the local road network.

7. Why did you choose Teesside?

  • Teesside is a great location for many reasons, not least that it will have great access to renewable energy and decarbonisation initiatives once online such as hydrogen gas fuel (once available) and CCUS from local providers.
  • It has deep-water port access, good existing transport links, and through Teesside’s longstanding history of leading chemical industrial facilities, there is a highly-trained resource pool to draw from.

8. What is the global demand for lithium production?

  • There is forecast to be a $12bn global market by 2030. Carmakers are driving the demand increases as they have 400+ new EV models planned for launch between now and 2025. Home and industrial storage is driving further demand and by 2030 China’s own lithium consumption will overtake its domestic supply, meaning the European market must create its own supply.

9. What is the timescale of the development?

  • Construction of the refinery is planned to commence during 2024.
  • Our plan is to have the first line of the facility operational from Q1 2026, with the second line operational soon after, bringing the refinery up to full capacity.

10. How do I find out more about employment opportunities?