Albemarle to invest $1.3B in lithium hydroxide facility in South Carolina

Albemarle Corporation plans to locate its previously announced lithium hydroxide Mega-Flex facility in Chester County, South Carolina. Plans for the facility include an initial investment of at least $1.3 billion to help meet the surging demand for domestic and international electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries.

The term Mega-Flex refers to the facility’s ability to process diverse lithium feedstock, including lithium from recycled batteries. Albemarle expects the facility to produce approximately 50,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from multiple sources annually, with the potential to expand up to 100,000 metric tons.

Production at the facility would support the manufacturing of an estimated 2.4 million electric vehicles annually. The site also supports the “Inflation Reduction Act”, a federal law enacted in 2022 to incentivize the localization of critical minerals in North America.

Pending permitting approvals, the facility will be located within a nearly 800-acre parcel near Richburg. Albemarle estimates the facility will create more than 300 new jobs with an average annual wage of approximately $93,000. In addition, the project would create more than 1,500 construction jobs.

To support the development of the new site, Albemarle said it is committed to advancing partnerships with the state, local communities, and educational institutions to build a talent pipeline and create advanced technology jobs to support the facility and the community. Additionally, the site will likely create new opportunities for suppliers and other businesses to locate nearby.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project. The council also awarded a $9-million Rural Infrastructure Fund (RIF) grant to Chester County to assist with the costs of mitigation, site preparation and infrastructure improvements.

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