Green jobs boost for the North East as two businesses pick Teesside for new lithium battery projects
The North East received a boost yesterday after two businesses picked Teesside for battery projects.
Energy start-up Green Lithium will build a £600million lithium refinery at PD Ports’ Teesport, the UK’s fifth-largest port, and Altilium Metals is to develop a battery recycling plant.
The refinery is set to create 1,000 jobs during construction and 250 permanent jobs once the project is commissioned in 2025.
Power-up: Energy start-up Green Lithium will build a £600m lithium refinery at PD Ports’ Teesport, the UK’s fifth-largest port, and Altilium Metals is to develop a battery recycling plant
But plans to make the North East a hub for green jobs and the battery industry have been shaken recently by the travails of Britishvolt.
The battery company, which planned to develop a £3.8billion gigafactory, last week secured five weeks of emergency funding from the commodities giant Glencore after preparing to appoint administrators.
Sean Sargent, chief executive of Green Lithium, said mistakes will inevitably be made as the UK tries to become a world leader in battery production.
‘It is early stages and we are in the foothills,’ he said.
‘This is an industrial revolution as the UK moves towards building gigafactories.’
The Government is trying to strengthen the supply chain for electric vehicles before a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030.
Lithium is key to this and is used to make batteries for use in electric vehicles as well as wind and solar plants.
Around 90 per cent of the world’s lithium processing takes place in China and there are no lithium refineries in Europe.
As a result, the UK’s car and battery makers are almost totally reliant at the moment on China for supply.
Business Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘We’re backing companies, like Green Lithium here in Teesside, to grow the new, green industries across the UK, sparking jobs and growth for decades to come. This is levelling up in action.’
BP last month said it plans to build the UK’s biggest green hydrogen facility on Teesside.