Albemarle to Invest $1.5 Billion to Double Lithium Hydroxide Output in Australia
On Wednesday, Albemarle announced that it has agreed to spend $1.5 billion to build two additional processing trains at its lithium hydroxide operations in Western Australia. The expansion is expected to double the facility’s capacity to 100,000 tonnes by 2026. According to Albemarle CEO Kent Masters, the decision to expand was based on the company’s belief in future demand and its commitment to offering customers additional supply.
Construction is scheduled to commence immediately at Albemarle’s Kemerton operations, with production from the new expansion expected to begin in 2026. Albemarle holds an 85% stake in the facility and operates it under an agreement with partner Mineral Resources, which was renegotiated in February. Following the expansion, Albemarle will become Australia’s largest lithium producer.
Despite posting better-than-expected quarterly earnings, Albemarle lowered its annual profit forecast on Wednesday due to falling prices for the metal used in electric vehicle batteries.