Europe's largest lithium hydroxide refinery could bring 1,000 jobs to Teesside

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council approved permission to build the refinery at the Wilton International Chemicals Park. Credit: Tees Valley Lithium

Planning permission has been granted to build Europe's largest lithium hydroxide refinery on Teesside.

It is hoped the £248 million zero-waste refinery, critical to the automative industry, will begin production in 2025, generating more than 1,000 jobs in the area.

Permission has been given for the lithium hydroxide refinery, which will produce the building block critical for battery manufacturing, to be built at Teesside's freeport.

Tees Valley Lithium Ltd, which is owned by Alkemy Capital Investments, could supply 30% of the UK's projected automotive demand by 2030 and would be positioned to serve proposed gigafactories in the region.

Sam Quinn, Alkemy director, said: "Our strategic decision to locate in the Wilton International Chemicals Park allows direct access to comprehensive infrastructure and services and within the Teesside freeport.

"This enables us to get into first production by 2025 and begin supplying our low carbon battery-grade lithium to customers spanning the UK and Europe."

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council approved permission to build the refinery after an 18-month consultation period, including an environmental impact assessment.

Alkemy said building the facility will reduce industry dependence on China, which currently controls 90% of the world’s lithium refining capacity.

The announcement comes as Teesside's former steelworks are being demolished to make way for green industry. Credit: PA Images

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: "Tees Valley Lithium is yet another multi-million-pound project, creating good quality jobs on the Teesside freeport.

"With plans now approved, this shovel-ready project will create 1,000 jobs and should be up and running in just a couple of years."

It comes after 200 jobs were put at risk on Thursday 24 November at Billingham's Mitsubishi Chemical Plant due to rising energy costs.

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