Rock Tech, a Canadian-German cleantech company, has broken ground on its first lithium hydroxide conversion plant, the Guben Converter, in Guben, Germany. The facility will be the first of its kind in Europe and is expected to be a blueprint for the EU’s new strategic goals of securing 12 times the demand for lithium by 2030 while processing 40% of it regionally.
Statements from Stakeholders
At the groundbreaking ceremony, the Premier of the State of Brandenburg, Dr. Dietmar Woidke, expressed his pleasure in attracting Rock Tech to the region, noting that the facility brings the state closer to its goal of becoming a hub of modern industry, sustainable mobility, and high technology. Meanwhile, the State Minister for Economic Affairs, Prof. Dr. Jörg Steinbach, stated that Rock Tech’s refining plant is considered the most advanced lithium converter project in Europe and will significantly strengthen Brandenburg’s position as the center of electromobility and energy transition in Germany.
Once complete, the Guben Converter will process lithium-bearing hard rock into battery-grade lithium hydroxide for the cathode and battery industry, which is a fundamental building block for automakers in the region. Markus Schäfer, a Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, expressed his support for the project, stating that “When it comes to our lithium supply here in Europe, Rock Tech will play a key role for Mercedes-Benz in the future.”
Rock Tech’s Commitment to Sustainability & Growth
Chief executive at Rock Tech, Dirk Harbecke, highlighted the company’s commitment to zero-waste, sustainable processing, and strategic partnerships, adding that the Guben Converter is spearheading the lithium refining industry in Europe. Ultimately, the converter is expected to start commissioning in mid-2025 and produce qualified battery-grade lithium hydroxide in 2026.
Monday’s groundbreaking marks the official start of onsite work on the 1.3M+ sqft. future lithium hydroxide converter. Rock Tech plans to build four more converters in Europe and North America, which will further strengthen the company’s position as a leader in sustainable lithium processing.