First lithium refinery in Europe to be built on Teesside, creating more than 1,000 jobs

The site on Teesside will be the first of its kind in Europe. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

More than 1,000 jobs could be on their way to the region after it was announced Europe's first large scale lithium refinery will be commissioned on Teesside.

Business Secretary Grant Shapps will visit the Teesport site later today, which will provide battery grade materials for use in the electric vehicle, renewable energy and consumer technology supply chains.

The Government said the plans were a "boost for levelling up".

Green Lithium will offer more than 1,000 jobs in construction and 250 long-term high-skill jobs for local people once up and running.

  • Video report by Kris Jepson.

Currently, 89% of the world’s lithium processing takes place in East Asia and there are currently no lithium refineries in Europe.

The UK Government has backed the project with a grant of more than £600,000 through the Automotive Transformation Fund.

The site will be commissioned in 2025 after three years of construction Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

What is lithium?

Lithium is an essential component of batteries and a secure supply will be critical for our automotive and energy industries. Critical minerals are irreplaceable in products essential to our everyday lives - such as mobile phones, wind turbines and fighter jets.

Critical minerals are at high risk of supply disruption, because of volatile markets and complex supply chains. The world in 2040 is projected to need four times more critical minerals than it does today.

In a statement, Business Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We’re backing companies, like Green Lithium here in Teesside, to grow the new, green industries across the UK, sparking jobs and growth for decades to come. This is levelling up in action. The refinery will deliver more than 1,000 jobs during its construction and 250 long-term, high-skill jobs for local people when in operation.

"It is also allowing us to move quickly to secure our supply chains of critical minerals, as we know that geopolitical threats and global events beyond our control can severely impact the supply of key components that could delay the rollout of electric vehicles in the UK."

Construction is expected to take three years and the plant will be commissioned during 2025.

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