Stellantis invests in geothermal lithium project
Stellantis N.V. and Controlled Thermal Resources Holdings Inc. (CTR) have announced a major investment of over $100 million from Stellantis to advance the development of CTR’s Hell’s Kitchen project, the world’s largest geothermal lithium project with a total resource capacity to produce up to 300,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate equivalent each year. Lithium produced at Hell’s Kitchen will support Stellantis vehicles’ battery electric vehicle (BEV) eligibility for consumer incentives under the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Highlights of the announcement include:
• Stellantis invests over $100 million to advance the development of geothermal lithium project in California and encourage decarbonization of battery electric vehicle (BEV) supply chains.
• New agreement includes a supply increase from the initial plan of 25,000 metric tons to up to 65,000 metric tons per year of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate.
• CTR’s integrated production process employs modular engineering design for efficient scale-up, minimizing environmental impacts and carbon emissions.
• Sustainable lithium hydroxide supply will support Stellantis’ U.S. product offensive and Dare Forward 2030 plan of having more than 25 all-new BEV launches and 50 percent BEV sales by 2030.
Additionally, the companies expanded the initial supply agreement, which now calls for CTR to supply up to 65,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM) each year over a 10-year contract term. This new agreement incorporates the original lithium supply agreement signed by both companies in June 2022 for up to 25,000 metric tons of LHM per year.
CTR’s Hell’s Kitchen project in California’s Imperial County will recover lithium from geothermal brines using renewable energy and steam to produce truly “green” battery-grade lithium products in a fully integrated process. This eliminates the need for evaporation brine ponds, openpit mines and fossil-fueled lithium processing.
“The foundation of our industry-leading decarbonization drive includes low-emissions production and sustainable supply as the building blocks for our electric vehicles,” Stellantis chief executive officer Carlos Tavares said. “The latest agreement with CTR is an important step in our care for our customers and our planet as we work to provide clean, safe and affordable mobility in North America.”
As part of the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, Stellantis announced plans of reaching a 100 percent passenger car BEV sales mix in Europe and 50 percent passenger car and light-duty truck BEV sales mix in the United States by 2030. To achieve these sales targets, the company is securing approximately 400 GWh of battery capacity, supported by six battery manufacturing plants in North America and Europe. Stellantis is on track to become a carbon net zero corporation by 2038, all scopes included, with single-digit percentage compensation of remaining emissions.
“This substantial investment in CTR by Stellantis marks an outstanding milestone for our company and further solidifies our efforts to support sustainable electric vehicle battery production,” CTR chief executive officer Rod Colwell said. “With electric vehicle adoption growing rapidly in the U.S. and throughout the world, it has never been more important to ensure battery materials are sourced and produced responsibly. Through localizing the battery supply chain, we can minimize supply chain risk and create thousands of jobs in a disadvantaged community. We applaud the leadership of Stellantis and look forward to working together to set new industry benchmarks for reliability, efficiency and sustainability.”
CTR is scheduled to commence battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate supply for Stellantis in 2027. The company expects to create 480 construction jobs through comprehensive project labor agreements and upward of 940 direct project jobs when the resource is fully developed.
Stellantis is one of the world’s leading automakers and a mobility provider. Its storied and iconic brands embody the passion of their visionary founders and today’s customers in their innovative products and services, including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS Automobiles, Fiat, Jeep®, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, Vauxhall, Free2move and Leasys. For more information, visit www.stellantis.com.
Through its project companies, Controlled Thermal Resources Holdings Inc. (CTR) specializes in critical minerals, battery-grade lithium chemicals, and renewable energy production with projects in advanced development in the United States. CTR’s leadership team has successfully developed and managed geothermal operations in California’s Salton Sea region for 30+ years. This highly specialized, location-specific knowledge has been instrumental in advancing CTR’s projects. Construction is expected to commence on Hell’s Kitchen - Stage 1 in late 2023. CTR is committed to delivering sustainable, low-cost lithium products and renewable power to support clean energy initiatives and to ensure a domestic, socially responsible lithium product supply chain in the United States. For more information, visit www.cthermal.com.