Albemarle Corporation, a premier specialty chemicals company and leader in the production of lithium and lithium compounds, announced today the commencement of commissioning activities associated with its new, state-of-the-art lithium carbonate production plant.
The 20,000 MT plant, located at Albemarle's La Negra site, near the port of Antofagasta in northern Chile, will enable the company to meet the accelerating demand for lithium, especially high purity lithium compounds required for the production of large format lithium ion batteries.
The plant is on schedule to produce commercial quantities of lithium carbonate during the third quarter of 2015. Albemarle expects to increase production from the new capacity beginning early in 2016. Initial production will be sold into technical applications while more lengthy battery grade qualifications take place.
The commissioning and planned startup of this new plant further demonstrates Albemarle's commitment to meeting the demands of its customers, offering a reliable and reputable supply of high quality products and maintaining its position as a global leader in lithium production.
Visiting Chile last week, President and CEO Luke Kissam said, "I am very proud of the work our team has done to construct and now commission this state-of-the-art facility in Chile. The company invested roughly $200 million to ensure we have a reliable source of supply for our customers as their demand for lithium, especially high purity lithium compounds, increases. Today, we are beginning to see the results of that hard work and investment, and I look forward to a bright future for our business. I thank our employees and the people of Chile for their support as we continue to grow responsibly in the region."