Construction is underway on Albemarle’s new lithium hydroxide plant being built in WA’s south-west, near Bunbury. Civmec’s Henderson facility will fabricate and pre-assemble components for on-site plant erection, with site works expected from mid-2019 to March 2021.
Albemarle’s $1 billion Kemerton plant will be Australia’s largest lithium processing plant, producing approximately 100,000 tonnes per annum when fully operational. Given the global demand for lithium in 2018 was about 270,000 tonnes, the new plant’s capacity is significant on a global scale, cementing Western Australia’s position as the number one global producer of lithium.
Albemarle is committed to operating the plant for 30 to 50 years, creating 500 construction jobs and another 500 in the region once fully operational.
The official sod turning ceremony, held on March 28, was attended by Premier Mark McGowan.
“With up to 1,000 local jobs being created, this project will be a huge economic boost for the south-west region and will show the capability Western Australia has in the lithium-ion battery sector,” said Mr McGowan.
The plant will initially comprise of three production trains, fed by lithium concentrate from the nearby mine at Greenbushes which Albemarle jointly owns with China’s Tianqi Lithium.
“This two-year project is ideally suited to our operations, fabricating, modularising and site erecting steel work for this key Western Australian development,” said Civmec’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Tallon.