Livista Energy said on Thursday it plans a lithium refinery for electric vehicles (EV) batteries in Germany that should launch production in 2026 and has partnered with French oil and gas services provider Technip Energies to design the plant.
Luxembourg-based Livista said it initially aims to refine 40,000 tonnes of lithium annually at the plant, or enough for batteries for around 850,000 EVs, with the potential to double capacity over time.
The European lithium refiner said that recycled lithium from batteries should make up 50% of the plant’s capacity by 2030.
“The capacity of our plants to accept recycled battery materials will make us a key part of the circular economy and will support our customers in sourcing lithium directly in Europe,” Livista chief operating officer Jean-Marc Ichbia said in a statement.
Livista did not specify a location for the plant.
Technip will design the plant and prepare construction plans – including for a potential expansion – and design a second plant in another, undisclosed location, the two companies said. Technip will also provide a cost estimate for constructing the refinery.
China is by far the world’s largest lithium producer and refiner, and the European Union has been pushing for its own homegrown lithium industry to support the transition to EVs.
Last week mining company Savannah Resources said Portuguese authorities had approved its environmental impact assessment (EIA) for what could become Western Europe’s largest lithium mine.
The EU’s plans for battery independence also include recycling battery materials like lithium.
As lithium mines and refineries take years to develop, building out European supply will be a lengthy process.
(By Nick Carey; Editing by David Evans)