EV Metals Group signs FEED agreement for Saudi lithium chemicals plant

Battery technology company EV Metals Group has announced the signing of a front-end engineering design (FEED) agreement with a subsidiary of Australia’s Wood Group, relating to the development of its flagship Battery Chemicals Complex (BCC) at Yanbu Industrial City in Saudi Arabia.

Under the FEED arrangement, Mustang and Faisal Jameel Al Hejailan Consulting Engineering Company will build the first two processing trains for the production of lithium hydroxide monohydrate in the plant.

Mustang will focus on non-process infrastructure, utilities and port infrastructure, with the rest of the FEED work to be done by parent company Wood in Perth. EV Metals has worked with Wood over the last two years on feasibility studies for the complex.

The BCC will produce high purity chemicals containing lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese and other metals needed for high energy density cathode active materials in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy storage.

“EVM has identified a critical gap in supply chains for EV manufacturers and battery cell manufacturers which EVM is addressing through the development of a lithium chemicals plant, a nickel chemicals plant and a cathode active materials plant based on the upstream integration and development of supply chains for long term supplies of lithium, nickel, cobalt and other metals from Western Australia while the Saudi supply chain is being developed,” said managing director Michael Naylor.

The lithium chemicals plant has been called a ‘strategic first step’ in the development of the complex by EV Metals chairman Abdullah S. Busfar. Requiring an initial investment of US$800 million, the first two LHM trains will begin to be constructed in Q1 2023 with commissioning planned for H2 2024.