Vulcan Energy buys German geothermal plant to power lithium extraction

Dec 10 (Reuters) – Vulcan Energy (VUL.AX) said on Friday it had agreed to buy a geothermal power plant in Germany’s Upper Rhine Valley for about 31.5 million euros ($35.6 million), as it works to supply lithium to Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and other European carmakers.

Energy from the plant will power Vulcan’s “zero carbon” lithium extraction process – a direct extraction method that uses less land, groundwater and energy than most common existing methods of open-pit mines and brine evaporation ponds.

Vulcan said it will take ownership of regional energy supplier Pfalzwerke AG (PFAL.UL), which owns the plant, and the deal will be financed with funds from a recent A$200 million ($142.9 million) capital raise.

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The plant, located at Insheim, is capable of producing a maximum of 4.8 megawatts of renewable power, Vulcan said.

The company has in recent weeks signed lithium supply agreements with several European automakers, including Volkswagen, Stellantis (STLA.MI) and Renault (RENA.PA). It aims to start commercially producing lithium by 2024. read more

Lithium, a key metal used in electric vehicle batteries, is gaining prominence as the world moves towards cleaner forms of energy.

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Reporting by Harshita Swaminathan; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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