New player: Prime Lithium wants to produce lithium for EVs in Germany

Prime Lithium, a subsidiary of Deutsche Rohstoff AG, wants to produce high-quality lithium for 500,000 EVs per year at the Stade Chemical Park near Hamburg in Germany. The company wants to realise a pilot plant on site by the end of 2025 and become a 'key player in Europe's battery value chain' by 2030.

Image: Prime Lithium

As reported by the German Manager Magazin, the company, founded in 2021, is led by former Bayer manager and Lanxess CEO Axel Heitmann. Heitmann and his partners want to operate the first production plant called ‘Train 1’ by 2030 – and more factories could follow. Battery cell producers such as BASF, Northvolt, and VW are named potential customers for lithium from Stade.

“We are determined to supply the European market with lithium. We place a strong focus on processes and technology to improve efficiency and sustainability,” Heitmann is quoted as saying on the Prime Lithium website. According to Manager Magazin, the site in Stade where production will be set up belongs to the US company Dow Chemical. According to the report, 22 hectares of land owned by Dow are contractually reserved for use.

Prime Lithium AG was founded in 2021 as a subsidiary of Deutsche Rohstoff AG. The aim is to be one of the first production companies for lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM) in Germany to close the gap between the raw materials industry and the European value chain in the field of electromobility. “Our interdisciplinary team of chemists and process engineers, stationed at the Prime Lithium Research and Development Center in Stade since July 2023, employs state-of-the-art equipment and complex simulation methods to address chemical and process engineering tasks. With our sustainable production of lithium hydroxide, we contribute our chemical expertise to enable further increases in the performance of batteries for electric vehicles,” the company’s website states.

Prime Lithium does not provide details of the production process. The company only states that it wants to optimise the ‘soda leach process’ before production to achieve the highest possible and consistent quality. In addition, the company complains that the ‘sharp rise in demand for lithium has unfortunately led to fundamental principles of chemical production being neglected worldwide’ – and claims to want to set a counterpoint here.

Manager Magazin talks about a new type of production process that could make Prime Lithium independent of the properties of different spodumene. Prime Lithium will be able to process different lithium rocks and thus produce more economically and energy-efficiently than the global competition.

Parent company Deutsche Rohstoff AG is a listed company based in Mannheim, Germany, which is primarily active in the US oil and gas production sector. Deutsche Rohstoff owns 85 per cent of Prime Lithium, with the remaining 15 per cent held by CEO Heitmann. (in German),

1 Comment

about „New player: Prime Lithium wants to produce lithium for EVs in Germany“
William Tahil
11.06.2024 um 15:51
"unfortunately led to fundamental principles of chemical production being neglected worldwide".That could be said about so many things.

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