Alsace could accommodate a lithium refining plant in 2025

The site will provide lithium for 500,000 electric vehicles per year, bringing its raw material from Latin America. Provided, however, to find funding.


There is, for the time being, only a cereal silo and a huge empty land behind the small container port of Lauterbourg, located in the north of Alsace, a stone’s throw from the German border. But Rémy Welschinger already sees it as the largest lithium conversion plant in the world. It should produce its first tonnes of lithium hydroxide, of battery quality, at the end of 2025.

This trainer in mining resources, passed by BNP Paribas, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, launched two years ago in the emerging white gold sector. With four other partners, including two lithium refining specialists, he has just announced the construction of a factory to cover the lithium needs of 500,000 electric vehicles. Viridian, a young company accommodated within the Semia Strasbourg incubator, surrounded himself to do this with a panel of recognized actors: Technip Energies was responsible for the factory feasibility study, having to lead On its realization “turnkey”, Veolia Water Technologies must validate the engineering of the processes and will subsequently provide the equipment necessary for refining, and the CEA-Liten will perform the product performance tests.

Viridian also has an exclusive contract with the port of Strasbourg for the amodiation of a 20 hectare plot located on its northern grip. Thanks to this situation, the future factory will be able to receive its raw material through the waterway and thus claim a logistics with the limited carbon impact.

Lift a lot of money

It will no doubt need no less to convince investors. To achieve its ends, Rémy Welschinger will indeed have to lift a lot of money: the cost of building a first production line, with an annual capacity of 25,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide, is evaluated at the very low word At 150 million euros, then 50 million for each of the three additional lines. “It is much less than all the mining projects that I have been able to support so far,” puts the entrepreneur into perspective.

A first fundraising must be carried out this year, to finalize the feasibility budget. Rémy Welschinger thus hopes to bring together some 5 million euros in equity, or even more, which would allow him to order heavy equipment of the factory. But it is only once the performance of the facilities determined by the feasibility study that investors and business banks can really be used.

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/Media reports.