The McGowan Labor Government has welcomed the launch of Tianqi Lithium’s lithium hydroxide plant in Kwinana – the largest of its kind in the world.
Once fully operational, the two-stage plant will produce 48,000 tonnes of battery grade lithium hydroxide a year and is expected to generate around $800 million per year in exports (at current prices) and employ 175 permanent staff.
Construction has involved more than 80 per cent local content and created jobs for 900 people.
Earlier this year, the McGowan Government delivered on an election commitment to develop a Western Australian Future Battery Industry Strategy which will help create jobs, contribute to skills development and benefit Western Australians.
A new online register has also been developed to help future battery industry proponents access State or Commonwealth funding, and is one of the initiatives as part of the strategy.
The State Government has been liaising closely with industry and research organisations to attract investment, facilitate projects, and progress the State’s research and technology sector.
Additionally, the Government committed $6 million to secure the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre in Perth and will continue to work with industry collaboratively to generate a pipeline of work for Western Australia.
There are five lithium hydroxide plants in consideration in WA, including Tianqi’s Kwinana lithium hydroxide plant.
Lithium was Western Australia’s sixth largest minerals sector in 2018.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“I welcome Tianqi Lithium’s significant investment and confidence in our State to grow its lithium hydroxide plant, create jobs and provide a boost to the local economy.
“We know that lithium is critical in renewable energy storage and electric car batteries, and we want to ensure Western Australia is at the forefront in the battery value chain and strengthen our position as a world leader in exports of future battery minerals, materials, technology and expertise.
“We are engaging with industry representatives in mining, downstream processing, chemical manufacturing, construction, energy and the unions to ensure the Future Battery Industry Taskforce responds to industries’ needs locally and overseas.”
As stated by Deputy Premier and Kwinana MLA Roger Cook:
“This Kwinana plant highlights what the McGowan Government is doing with industry to support Western Australia’s burgeoning future battery industry.
“It’s crucial that we continue to invest in the Kwinana industry strip, which provides a valuable contribution to the State’s economy. Having a first of its kind lithium hydroxide plant right here in Kwinana demonstrates WA’s capacity in downstream processing, creating jobs content and using local content.
“I congratulate Tianqi for its vision, hard work and investment in this State.”