USA: Stellantis participates in major geothermal lithium project
Stellantis will invest over 100 million dollars in Controlled Thermal Resources’ (CTR) project Hell’s Kitchen in California, the world’s largest geothermal lithium project. In the course of this, the previously agreed off-take volume will also be significantly increased.
The carmaker is already associated with CTR’s Hell’s Kitchen project: In June 2022, both companies concluded a binding off-take agreement for lithium hydroxide. At that time, the carmaker secured up to 25,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year for its North American models during the ten-year contract period – but there was no financial participation.
Now, Stellantis is investing over 100 million dollars in the project, which. With a total capacity to produce up to 300,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent per year, it is one of the largest mining projects of its kind in the world. CTR’s project in Imperial County, California, is expected to help make Stellantis’ BEV vehicles eligible for consumer incentives under the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The two companies also expanded their original supply agreement. The new deal includes an increase in the supply volume from the previously planned 25,000 tonnes to up to 65,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate per year over a contract term of ten years. In other words, the annual supply volume will be more than doubled. According to current information, the first lithium hydroxide monohydrate from California will be delivered to Stellantis in 2027.
The Hell’s Kitchen project will extract lithium from geothermal brines “using renewable energy and steam to produce truly ‘green’ battery-grade lithium products in a fully integrated process.” According to Stellantis, that will eliminate the need for ponds to evaporate the brine, open-pit mining and fossil fuel lithium processing.