Albemarle’s Kemerton expansion project in Western Australia has celebrated the arrival of its first shipment of steel modules from China.
The project took delivery of 251 steel modules, weighing approximately 2000 tonnes, in a step toward constructing two additional processing trains at the project.
The shipment consisted of steel module panels, stair towers and structural frames.
Albemarle Australia country manager Beverley East said the shipment was an important milestone for the project.
“Albemarle, our suppliers and service providers, are all committed to delivering a safe and timely project to satisfy the growing global demand for high quality lithium storage products required for the manufacturing of millions of new electric vehicles,” East said.
“The successful delivery of the steel modules also signals the beginning of Kemerton expansion, boosting jobs and the economy in the South West.”
Albemarle vice president, capital projects Joshua Rowan said the transportation was a logistical challenge but was completed ahead of schedule.
“Strategic coordination and planning began months in advance of this first shipment,” Rowan said.
“Just getting it safely transported on large load trucks from the Port of Bunbury to the Kemerton plant required the sinking of some overhead power lines, and close work with Western Power to make it happen.
“Expansion of a facility that is already the biggest of its type in Australia, and the most advanced in the world, involves thousands of complex moving parts and requires a dynamic, proactive and highly experienced multi-disciplinary team, and we are working very hard to bring that team together.”
The expansion will give Kemerton the capacity to produce 100,000 metric tonnes of lithium per annum, doubling its current output.
“Kemerton and its expansion are already playing a vital role in driving regional economic growth and creating hundreds of new jobs, and this will continue in the South West for years to come,” East said.