Albermarle lithium acquires China-based chemical operations

Albermarle expands its global network of lithium production, providing a key component for decarbonisation and battery technology manufacture

The global speciality chemical company, Albermarle Lithium UK announced it has signed an agreement to acquire all outstanding equity of Guangxi Tianyuan New Energy Materials Co., Ltd, which is responsible for lithium conversion operations in Guangxi, China. The transaction is expected to take place over a few months and close in early 2022, at a value of around US$200mn. 

With operations across the globe, Albemarle produces key components that are in high demand for the production of battery technology and other electrified products. The company controls a diverse network of high-quality natural resources that are strategically situated for minimal environmental impact. 

Acquiring lithium processing capabilities

Tianyuan was founded as early as 2017 and as the acquisition takes place, it will hand over operations, such as its lithium processing plant—strategically positioned near the Port of Qinzhou in Guangxi. The recently constructed facility holds a potential capacity of up to 25,000 metric tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), as well as the ability to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. While the project is yet to be commissioned, it is expected to be ready for operation by early 2022—in line with the acquisition. 

‘The acquisition of Tianyuan, which owns and operates a newly constructed lithium processing plant, aligns with our strategy to pursue profitable growth in line with customer demand’, says Kent Masters, Chief Executive Officer at Albemarle

‘This will be a key component of our next wave of projects designed to increase our conversion capacity in a capital-efficient manner in the coming years. As the global transition to cleaner energy rapidly develops, this added lithium capacity will enable us to help our customers achieve their growth and sustainability ambitions’.

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