The rendering of the lithium hydroxide conversion plant of Rock Tech Lithium in Guben, Germany.
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Rock Tech Lithium breaks ground for its first lithium hydroxide conversion plant in Germany.

The Rock Tech facility, which is the first of its kind in Europe, will be a blueprint for the EU's new strategic goals to secure 12 times the demand for lithium by 2030 and process 40% of it regionally.

Rock Tech Lithium Inc., a Canadian-German company, has broken ground for its first lithium hydroxide conversion plant in Guben, Germany. This is a significant milestone for the company and a promising development for the EV mobility transition, as the plant is considered the most advanced lithium converter project in Europe and will process lithium-bearing hard rock into battery-grade lithium hydroxide for the cathode and battery industry.

The facility, which is the first of its kind in Europe, will be a blueprint for the EU’s new strategic goals to secure 12 times the demand for lithium by 2030 and process 40% of it regionally. The groundbreaking ceremony marked the official start of onsite works on the 125,750 square meters future lithium hydroxide converter, and Rock Tech has recently been awarded the first partial permit according to the Federal Immission Control Act. The company is on schedule to progress with test piling and ground preparation.

The Guben Converter, expected to start commissioning in mid-2025, will produce qualified battery-grade lithium hydroxide in 2026. This is a fundamental building block for automakers in the region, as lithium is a critical component of electric vehicle (EV) batteries. With the demand for EVs increasing rapidly, it is essential to secure a reliable supply of lithium for the industry.

Rock Tech’s Guben Converter is the first of five converters the company intends to build in Europe and North America. This development is a significant step towards achieving a sustainable and secure lithium supply chain for the EV industry.

At the groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, the Premier of the State of Brandenburg Dr. Dietmar Woidke stated, “I am very pleased that we have attracted Rock Tech, a visionary cleantech company, which brings us closer to our goal of becoming a hub of modern industry, sustainable mobility, and high technology. With this groundbreaking, Brandenburg is taking another important step towards becoming a highly prosperous and climate-neutral growth cluster.”

For Mercedes-Benz, the shift towards electric mobility also means a change in our supply chains. Three goals are central to us: Sustainability, raw material security, and localization of procurement. Today’s groundbreaking in Guben is therefore another milestone for Mercedes-Benz towards the sustainable production of state-of-the-art batteries. When it comes to our lithium supply here in Europe, Rock Tech will play a key role for Mercedes-Benz in the future,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG. Chief Technology Officer, Development & Procurement.

Also Read: Factorial Energy establishes European subsidiary in Germany to boost solid-state battery technology.

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