ALBEMARLE INAUGURATES NEW PLANT DESIGNED TO DOUBLE LITHIUM PRODUCTION AND REDUCE WATER CONSUMPTION BY 30% PER METRIC TON
June 13, 2022
ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE, June 13, 2022 -- Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), one of the largest lithium producers in the world and present in Chile for more than 40 years, today inaugurated its third chemical conversion plant, La Negra III/IV, in Antofagasta as one of the most modern chemical conversion plants in Latin America. With new technology, the plant is expected to double lithium production and further reduce the company’s low-freshwater consumption in this process, marking a clear commitment to sustainable production.
Albemarle President and CEO Kent Masters stated, “This new plant marks a milestone in Albemarle's commitment to lead our industry, responding to increasing global demand for lithium through innovation and dedication to sustainability. Lithium is key to an energy transition that must be implemented with meticulous attention to dialogue, sustainability, and social value. This inauguration also demonstrates the importance of Chile for Albemarle, and our commitment to continue collaborating with the country in this industry."
According to Ignacio Mehech, Vice President of External Affairs and Country Manager of Albemarle Chile, "With this expansion Albemarle is supporting the global energy transition and, at the same time, we are working together with the local communities to support the economy, the people and the environment of the areas in which we operate. Eighty-three percent of our workers are from the Antofagasta Region, 14% are women, and almost 40% of those working at the Salar plant are of indigenous origin. We take our commitments seriously and we back them up with real actions."
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Mining, Marcela Hernando, as well as various government authorities, representatives of indigenous communities, academics, diplomats, international delegations, and people from the mining industry, who highlighted the contribution of this new plant to the development of the lithium industry in Chile.
Located 27 kilometers from the city of Antofagasta, Albemarle’s La Negra III/IV plant represents an investment of more than US$ 500 million and has R&D laboratories and facilities for the complex chemical processes that are intended to remove impurities and transform the lithium concentrate from the Salar de Atacama into high value-added products. The new plant includes a US$ 100 million thermal evaporator that is designed to considerably reduce the amount of fresh water per metric ton used during the process at La Negra. It recovers the water from what is commonly called the "mother liquor" and then recycles it in the production process of technical grade and battery grade lithium carbonate. The technology is intended to reduce water consumption by up to 30% per metric ton.
The Minister of Mining, Marcela Hernando stated, "This is an important milestone for the region and for the country, as it shows that sustainable investment continues to advance in Chile and that companies such as Albemarle are working hand in hand with governmental objectives towards the development of a lithium industry that generates value in the territory and installed capacities through the contract that the mining company has with Corfo."
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine, and refining catalysts. We think beyond business as usual to power the potential of companies in many of the world's largest and most critical industries, such as energy, electronics, and transportation. We actively pursue a sustainable approach to managing our diverse global footprint of world-class resources. In conjunction with our highly experienced and talented global teams, our deep-seated values, and our collaborative customer relationships, we create value-added and performance-based solutions that enable a safer and more sustainable future.
We regularly post information to www.albemarle.com, including notification of events, news, financial performance, investor presentations and webcasts, non-GAAP reconciliations, SEC filings and other information regarding our company, its businesses and the markets it serves.
Some of the information presented in this press release, including, without limitation, statements with respect to the La Negra III/IV chemical conversion plant being designed to double lithium production and reduce water consumption by 30% per metric ton and other similar statements as well as all other information relating to matters that are not historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results could differ materially from the views expressed. Factors that could cause Albemarle's actual results to differ materially from the outlook expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement include, without limitation: the La Negra III/IV chemical conversion plant not operating as expected; changes in economic and business conditions; changes in financial and operating performance of its major customers and industries and markets served by it; the timing of orders received from customers; the gain or loss of significant customers; market correction in lithium market pricing, which would negatively impact its revenues and profitability due to its increased use of index-referenced, variable-priced contracts for battery grade lithium sales; changes with respect to contract renegotiations; potential production volume shortfalls; competition from other manufacturers; changes in the demand for its products or the end-user markets in which its products are sold; limitations or prohibitions on the manufacture and sale of its products; availability of raw materials; increases in the cost of raw materials and energy, and its ability to pass through such increases to its customers; technological change and development, changes in its markets in general; fluctuations in foreign currencies; changes in laws and government regulation impacting its operations or its products; the occurrence of regulatory actions, proceedings, claims or litigation (including with respect to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and foreign anti-corruption laws); the occurrence of cyber-security breaches, terrorist attacks, industrial accidents or natural disasters, the effect of climate change, including any regulatory changes to which it might be subject; hazards associated with chemicals manufacturing; the inability to maintain current levels of insurance, including product or premises liability insurance, or the denial of such coverage; political unrest affecting the global economy, including adverse effects from terrorism or hostilities; political instability affecting its manufacturing operations or joint ventures; changes in accounting standards; the inability to achieve results from its global manufacturing cost reduction initiatives as well as its ongoing continuous improvement and rationalization programs; changes in the jurisdictional mix of its earnings and changes in tax laws and rates or interpretation; changes in monetary policies, inflation or interest rates that may impact its ability to raise capital or increase its cost of funds, impact the performance of its pension fund investments and increase its pension expense and funding obligations; volatility and uncertainties in the debt and equity markets; technology or intellectual property infringement, including cyber-security breaches, and other innovation risks; decisions it may make in the future; future acquisition and divestiture transactions, including the ability to successfully execute, operate and integrate acquisitions and divestitures and incurring additional indebtedness; continuing uncertainties as to the duration and impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; performance of Albemarle's partners in joint ventures and other projects; changes in credit ratings; and the other factors detailed from time to time in the reports Albemarle files with the SEC, including those described under "Risk Factors" in Albemarle's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K any subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. Albemarle assumes no obligation to provide any revisions to any forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by securities and other applicable laws.
Media Contact: Kim Ronkin Casey, +1 (719) 331-6202, [email protected]
Investor Relations Contact: Meredith Bandy, +1 (980) 999-5168, [email protected]
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