Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council granted the permission to Tees Valley Lithium Ltd (TVL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Alkemy Capital Investments plc, on Friday following completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and a local consultation.

TVL’s nearly £250m zero waste facility is reportedly shovel-ready with production forecasted to commence in 2025. The company also estimates the refinery will generate over 1,000 local jobs.

According to a press release put out by TVL, the facility will produce 96,000tpa of low-carbon battery-grade lithium hydroxide once in full production – equivalent to 15% of projected European demand.

Sam Quinn, director of Alkemy, commented: ‘The full endorsement from the Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council is a critical step in taking TVL to its next phase of developing the UK’s first lithium hydroxide refinery and spearheading a brand-new industry in Europe and a vital part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

‘This decision allows us to rapidly advance with our engineering studies ahead of construction, due to commence in 2023. The burgeoning demand from electric vehicle OEMs highlights the urgent need for significant lithium refinery capacity in Europe, which currently does not exist.’

Commenting on the council’s decision, Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, said: ‘Tees Valley Lithium is yet another multi-million-pound project, creating good-quality jobs on the Teesside Freeport. With plans now approved this shovel ready project will create 1,000 jobs and should be up and running in just a couple of years.’