Livista Energy eyes Australian lithium producers to secure Europe’s EV battery supply

“We must make ourselves competitive to contribute to a successful energy transition.”

The Albanian government has announced that it will continue coalition government efforts to boost Australia’s critical minerals sector and actively boost trade routes with the European Union and the United Kingdom in the race for a decarbonized economy.

Liontown Resources and Pilbara Minerals announced last month they would spend more than $800 million to expand lithium production, as they both seek to capitalize on the global decarbonization push and accelerate vehicle adoption. electrical.

Livista, which recently appointed former TotalEnergies executive Jean-Marc Ichbia as chief executive, expects to have completed site searches by the end of 2022.

The company was among a group of 21 projects that received nearly £45 million ($79 million) in support from the UK government-backed Advanced Propulsion Center in its latest funding round.

The rapid increase in electric vehicle sales during the pandemic has tested the resilience of battery supply chains, and Russia’s war in Ukraine has further exacerbated the challenge.

The International Energy Agency warned policymakers, industry leaders and investors in May that they needed to be “highly vigilant” and resourceful to reduce the risk of supply disruptions and ensure sustainable supply. in essential minerals.

In May 2022, lithium prices were more than seven times higher than at the start of 2021.

Livista wants to build a factory with an initial capacity of 30,000 tons per year, which could grow to 60,000 tons as demand for electric vehicles grows. It explores sites such as Blythe, Northumberland, where Britishvolt, another start-up, has started work on a £3.8billion battery ‘gigafactory’ to supply the UK car industry.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a leading industry consultancy and pricing agency, forecasts 117,000 tonnes of lithium battery demand in Europe this year, rising to 250,000 tonnes in 2025 and 600,000 tonnes in 2030.

The UK government and the EU have announced a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030, in order to meet international climate targets and reach net zero by 2050.

The Faraday Institution recently predicted the demand for 10 gigafactories – which produced batteries on a gigantic scale – in the UK by 2040, producing 20 GWh per year of batteries equivalent to 100 GWh. He estimates that the combined electric vehicle and battery ecosystem could be worth £22 billion by 2030 and £27 billion by 2040.

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Mary I. Bruner