ABB signs MoU with Vulcan Energy Resources to support carbon-neutral lithium production for battery manufacturing

ABB signs MoU with Vulcan Energy Resources to support carbon-neutral lithium production for battery manufacturing

  • Agreement allows the two companies to work together in the early stages of design, engineering, execution and operations
  • Common objective to establish Phase One of Vulcan Energy’s ZERO CARBON LITHIUM™ Project with electrification, instrumentation, control and digital
  • Vulcan Energy is the license holder in the Upper Rhine Valley region, the largest lithium resource in Europe.

ABB and Vulcan Energy Resources have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement to jointly establish design, engineering, execution and operations plans for strategically important reserves of lithium in Europe. Vulcan’s ZERO CARBON LITHIUM™ Project in Germany’s Upper Rhine Valley region will access naturally heated lithium-rich brine from underground reservoirs while using geothermal heat to produce renewable energy for the process.

The agreement sets out how ABB will collaborate with Vulcan to identify, pursue and secure opportunities to deliver electrification and automation for the project. This will also involve early involvement with the EPCm contractors and technology providers for the overall project.

The European Union has set a target of 100 percent of vehicles to be zero emissions by 2035, indicating Europe will see a more than 50–fold increase in lithium demand up to 20501. Vulcan’s ZERO CARBON LITHIUM™ Project, with integrated renewable heat, renewable power and lithium production, will provide a first regional supply of carbon-neutral lithium, paving the way for Germany and Europe to lead on achieving a net zero shift in mobility and energy.

“This MoU marks the beginning of a promising long-term collaboration between Vulcan and ABB,” said Cris Moreno, Managing Director and CEO, Vulcan. “We are delighted to have ABB as a key partner in delivering world-leading solutions for Phase One of our integrated renewable energy and ZERO CARBON LITHIUM™ Project and beyond, reflecting our joint commitment to innovation and sustainability.”
  • ABB and Vulcan Energy Resources will work together for the future of Europe's battery manufacturing capabilities. Image Vulcan Energy Resources
  • ABB has previously designed automation and electrification methodologies to support the battery supply chain. Image ABB

“ABB’s MoU with Vulcan Energy Resources exemplifies our united commitment to driving innovation and growth in the battery manufacturing landscape,” said Michael Marti, Global Business Line Manager, Growth Industries, ABB Process Industries. “The potential outcomes from ABB’s new initiatives with Vulcan are exciting because our joint approach, expertise and technologies will impact on further developing battery manufacturing for commercial and domestic end users. The actions we take today aim to ensure secure and steady energy provision into the 2030s.”

Over the short term, the collaboration will enable the clarification of design principles, standards and interfaces, as well as early design and optimization in electrification and automation for process and power. Furthermore, the two companies aim to go beyond project completion, extending to operational support and continuous performance improvement initiatives throughout the lifecycle of the plant.

Vulcan is focused on delivering the world’s first integrated renewable energy and ZERO CARBON LITHIUM™ Project by adapting existing technologies to efficiently extract lithium from geothermal brine. It aims to deliver a local source of sustainable lithium for Europe, built around a carbon neutral strategy with exclusion of fossil fuels. Already an operational renewable energy producer, Vulcan will also provide renewable electricity and heat to local communities. Vulcan’s combined geothermal energy and lithium resource is known to be the largest in Europe.

ABB’s Process Automation business automates, electrifies and digitalizes industrial operations that address a wide range of essential needs – from supplying energy, water and materials, to producing goods and transporting them to market. With its ~20,000 employees, leading technology and service expertise, ABB Process Automation helps customers in process, hybrid and maritime industries improve performance and safety of operations, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. go.abb/processautomation

ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on over 140 years of excellence, ABB’s more than 105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation.www.abb.com

[1] New EU regulatory framework for batteries (europa.eu)

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