Vulcan Energy Resources (VUL) has entered the final stages of mechanical completion at its Lithium Extraction Optimisation Plant (LEOP) in Germany.
The company announced it was nearing the end of its current phase of work, with 73 days remaining until the target mechanical completion date in August.
The LEOP is included in the makeup of Vulcan’s Zero Carbon Lithium project in Germany’s Upper Rhine Valley Brine Field. Vulcan is developing the largest lithium resource in Europe and aims to play a crucial role in facilitating the region’s shift to electric vehicles.
The company is targeting LEOP commissioning during September, before enabling it to enter full operation. This would constitute the first tonnes of lithium chloride concentrate ever domestically produced in Europe, and the first tonnes of lithium produced using the commercially proven method of sorption type direct lithium extraction (DLE), driven by renewable heat instead of fossil gas.
The company announced the LEOP would supply lithium chloride to the CLEOP, Vulcan’s downstream optimisation plant which would produce the final lithium hydroxide product.
Vulcan’s optimisation plants aim to supply Vulcan’s automotive and battery customers in Europe, which include Stellantis and Volkswagen. It also aims to serve as a training ground for operational readiness for the start of the commercial phase one of the company’s project. Additionally, it is designed to optimise process parameters in preparation for the commercial plant while it is being constructed.
The company also announced it is making several senior appointments to its project execution team. Vulcan has appointed Carsten Bachg, Cedric Adam and Neil Davey as Senior Director of Programs, Director of Construction & Commissioning and Director of PMO & Project Services, respectively.
“We are fortunate to be joined by some highly motivated, highly skilled project execution professionals from the O&G and chemicals industries, deploying their considerable experience towards decarbonization, electrification and supply chain security in the West,” VUL MD and CEO Dr Francis Wedin said.
The company also announced EPCM contracts for commercial phase one of the project had entered the request for proposal (RFP) stage.
Dr Wedin expressed that the near completion marked more than five years of work on the Zero Carbon Lithium project, and would birth “an entirely new domestic lithium industry in Germany and Europe”.
Source: the market herald