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Canada's Rock Tech Lithium planning to build 400 mln euro lithium hydroxide converter in Romania

Canada's Rock Tech Lithium planning to build 400 mln euro lithium hydroxide converter in Romania Rock Tech's Chairman, Dirk Harbecke, and Virgil Popescu, the Minister of Energy for Romania, sign the Memorandum of Understanding Source: Rock Tech Lithium

BUCHAREST (Romania), March 8 (SeeNews) - Canadian cleantech company Rock Tech Lithium said on Tuesday it has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Romanian government to build a lithium hydroxide converter worth 400 million euro ($435 million).

The MoU provides for cooperation and support in the company's search for a location in Romania for a lithium hydroxide converter and, in the longer term, the construction and operation of such converter, Rock Tech Lithium said in a press release.

The proposed converter will refine lithium-bearing rock into high-purity lithium hydroxide, which is needed by the electric vehicle industry and its suppliers to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles. Once operational, it is expected to produce approximately 24,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide per year, equivalent to the volume needed to equip around 500,000 electric cars with lithium-ion batteries.

With an estimated capital cost of approximately 400 million euro, the converter is expected to provide significant and enduring economic benefits, including the direct and indirect creation of more than 500 jobs during its construction and operation.

Following the signing of the MoU, the company expects to start examining various locations in Romania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe for the site of its proposed converter, which will further its strategy of building several converters across Western and Eastern Europe to supply the European electric vehicle industry with lithium hydroxide.

"We want to initiate the construction and operation of five lithium-hydroxide converters in Europe by 2029 and are grateful for the Government of Romania to support us in finding the ideal location for one of our next converters," Rock Tech Lithium chairman Dirk Harbecke said.

"It took us almost two years to find and sign our first location in Guben, Brandenburg. To keep our ambitious targets, we plan wisely and long-term. We not only want to invest in Romania, but also build up know-how, create jobs and work closely with local partners."

According to the Canadian company, a key factor in the site selection process of its second proposed converter will be access to regional infrastructure, such as transportation links and a rail connection. Rock Tech will seek a close collaboration with authorities, experts, and local partners for all further planning steps.

Rock Tech Lithium is a cleantech company with operations in Canada and Germany that aims to supply the automotive industry with high quality lithium hydroxide.

($=0.9192 euro)