Battchain will focus on expanding Spain’s battery value chain from sourcing raw materials locally to battery recycling. The consortium is led by the EIT Innoenergy initiative.

Infinity Lithium - which is currently developing a lithium extraction site in the Spanish region of Extremadura - is a member of the consortium.

The group is seeking funding of up to €1.2 billion ($1.45 billion) to develop its industrial projects that will serve mainly the Spanish automotive sector to meet building momentum for a transition to greener mobility.

The consortium has submitted an expression of interest to receive funding under the Spanish government's Programme for the Promotion of Industrial Competitiveness and Sustainability projects.

The program provides loans and grants partly funded by the coronavirus pandemic recovery fund of €750 billion that was agreed in July 2020 by European Union leaders.

Among projects that will receive funding is the lithium extraction project in Extremadura being developed by Infinity Lithium. Some 15,000 tonnes per year will be extracted and refined locally, according to the consortium press release.

The EIT Innoenergy initiative was established in 2010 to foster the development of innovative energy projects in Europe under the European Commission’s mandate.

Raw materials such as lithium are key component of the lithium-ion rechargeable batteries used to power electric vehicles (EV), sales of which are expected to increase sharply in the coming years while Europe and other regions move toward a low-carbon future.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for lithium carbonate 99.5% Li2CO3 min, battery grade, spot price ddp Europe and US was $8.50-10 per kg on Thursday February 11, up from $7.50-8.50 per kg at the end of last year but down from $10-11 per kg a year ago.