Just a few days ago, Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke expressed the hope that the construction of the Tesla plant in Grünheide would attract more investors. Now the lithium processor Rock Tech has announced that it wants to build a plant in Brandenburg. The plant is to be built in Guben, around 60 kilometers from Grünheide.
Tesla not only plans to build cars there, but also to manufacture batteries. Tesla plans to build up to 500,000 e-cars a year – and the amount of lithium hydroxide that Rock Tech’s new factory is supposed to produce should be enough for just as many cars. In addition to these two companies, the chemical company BASF has announced that it intends to build a cathode factory in Schwarzheide.
Lithium cycle planned
Rock Tech plans to start production in 2024 and invest around 470 million euros. The raw material is said to come from the company’s own mine in Canada, but all processing takes place in Germany. By 2030 at the latest, 50 percent of the raw materials should come from the recycling of old batteries. “Our goal is to be the first company in the world to create a closed cycle for lithium,” said CEO Dirk Harbecke.
The company has expressly refrained from granting government funding already applied for and further funding for the final implementation of the plans. The factory would provide work for 16 workers. As potential customers, Harbecke primarily has German and European car manufacturers in mind.
Key to the success of e-mobility
In Brandenburg they are happy about the new investor: Basic materials for lithium-ion batteries are a key to the success of electromobility, said Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach. In future, Brandenburg will be home to the entire value chain, from raw material processing to battery and cell production to the manufacture of electric cars and battery recycling. For Lusatia this would result in concrete opportunities for new value creation and future-proof jobs.
Rock Tech was founded in 1996 and focuses entirely on electromobility. The board includes the former BMW manager Stefan Krause as CFO. The announcement of the factory building gave the share price, which had recently been flagging, a boost. (With material from DPA)
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