The Albemarle Kemerton Plant is a $1 billion investment in Western Australia, and will become the country’s largest lithium hydroxide plant, with approval to produce up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of premium battery grade lithium hydroxide.
Premier Mark McGowan joined the United States Ambassador to Australia, Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr., State and Federal Members of Parliament and Albemarle representatives on Thursday 28 March to officially turn the sod on the Albemarle Kemerton plant.
The Western Australian Government is working with Albemarle to ensure job opportunities are maximised for local workers in Collie, Bunbury, the wider South-West and the Murray-Wellington region, with 500 construction jobs and a further 500 jobs expected to be available once operational.
An Economic Development Plan for the region will identify strategies and specific training to assist the South-West workforce to take up job opportunities created by WA’s Future Battery Industry Strategy.
The State Government is capitalising on the state’s unique resources and growth in the lithium-ion battery sector with the launch of the state’s Future Battery Industry Strategy, and the creation of the Lithium and Energy Materials Taskforce.
Western Australia is currently the number one global producer of lithium, the second largest global producer of rare earths, the third largest global producer of cobalt and the fourth largest global producer of nickel.
Mr McGowan said he was pleased to take part in the sod-turning to mark the start of construction on Australia’s biggest lithium hydroxide project.
“In February 2018, I met with representatives from Albemarle in Washington DC to discuss the possibility of launching a lithium project of this magnitude in WA. I congratulate Albemarle on making this vision become a reality.
“My government’s number one priority is creating local jobs for local workers, so we have been working with Albemarle to make sure there are opportunities for local South-West workers from Collie, Bunbury and Murray-Wellington.
“With up to 1000 local jobs being created, this project will be a huge economic boost for the South-West region and will show the capability Western Australia has in the lithium-ion battery sector.”
Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.
After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.