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Albemarle Corporation Plans Chester County, South Carolina, Lithium Hydroxide Processing Plant

Albemarle Corporation, a global leader in transforming essential resources such as lithium and bromine into critical ingredients for mobility, energy, connectivity and health, plans to establish a “Mega-Flex” lithium hydroxide processing facility in Chester County, South Carolina. The $1.3 billion project is expected to create 300 jobs.

Located on roughly 800 acres near Richburg, the new facility will support the fast-growing global electric vehicle and energy storage markets, producing approximately 50,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from multiple sources, with the potential to reach up to 100,000 metric tons. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024.

“Albemarle is focused on meeting growing customer demand and this investment is part of our global commitment to transforming essential resources into critical ingredients that enable a more resilient world. We wanted a location with access to nearby rail and port transportation and the availability of skilled workers. We’re excited to have chosen South Carolina and to be closer to our customers as the supply chain is built out in North America,” Albemarle Corporation CEO Kent Masters said.

As an incentive the Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project. The council also awarded a $9 million Rural Infrastructure Fund (RIF) grant to Chester County to assist with the costs of mitigation, site preparation and infrastructure improvements.

“Albemarle is a global leader in providing products and solutions that help advance innovation. The company’s significant investment in Chester County demonstrates to the world that South Carolina is poised to support resilient energy operations, especially the growing electric vehicle supply chain,” Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III noted.

The term “Mega-Flex” refers to the facility’s ability to process diverse lithium feedstock, including lithium from recycled batteries.

“SC Ports is proud to support the fast-growing electric vehicle sector by providing efficient operations, reliable service and speed-to-market. Albemarle Corporation’s significant investment further expands the state’s electric vehicle capabilities and builds on the global connectivity within the Interstate-77 market,” SC Ports President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Melvin added.

Albemarle Corporation is a specialty chemicals manufacturing company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. It operates 3 divisions: lithium, bromine specialties and catalysts. The company is a large developer of flame retardant chemicals technologies, with production plants in the U.S., China, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Austria, and the United Kingdom.

“We are excited to welcome Albemarle to the I-77 region! Albemarle is a great fit for Chester County, which offers dual-rail capabilities through the L&C Railroad, a labor shed of 1.3 million people, and the ability to serve virtually any industrial natural gas load. With this announcement, the I-77 Alliance region is quickly becoming a corridor of R&D and innovation within the EV industry. We look forward to working with Albemarle as they establish operations in Chester County,” said I-77 Alliance Interim President and CEO Christopher Finn.

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