AMG Lithium has applied for a government grant for the construction of the plant, and detailed engineering works are expected to start at the end of 2019.

The subsidiary has established a lithium hydroxide and battery materials laboratory in Frankfurt-Hoechst, with total capital investment for the refining plant and laboratory estimated at $50-60 million.

The plant will mainly process technical-grade lithium hydroxide into battery-grade material. AMG also plans to build a technical-grade lithium hydroxide plant in Brazil to guarantee feedstock supply, but further details on the Brazil-based project are unknown at this time.

Demand for lithium hydroxide is expected to increase in the coming years, coinciding with the trend for the development of high performance batteries and vehicles with longer driving range. The energy storage market is also expected to boom in the near future.

Fastmarkets assessed the lithium hydroxide monohydrate, 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery grade, ex-works, spot price at 55,000-60,000 yuan ($7,834-8,546) per tonne on Thursday November 14, unchanged from the previous week, but continuing a steady downtrend over 2019 due to subdued spot demand and oversupply.