UK’s first large-scale lithium site gets green light

The Middlesbrough facility will put the UK on the map when it comes to processing the metal critical to EVs, phones and wind farms

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The UK is announcing its first large-scale lithium refinery – to make electric vehicle (EV) batteries and materials used for other renewable energy projects.

Middlesbrough will host the facility, owned by Green Lithium, which will look to put the UK on the map when it comes to production of the metal.

Currently, East Asia accounts for a staggering 89% of the world’s lithium processing – but since the metal has become even more critical in recent years, with the boost of EVs, the UK is looking to make its mark in the industry.

The UK has provided a £600,000 grant to Green Lithium to kickstart the site – which is set to provide 250 long-term skilled jobs in Teesside.

Mobile phones, wind turbines and fighter jets are other products that require lithium to function.

Business Secretary Grant Shapps said: “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.”