Stardust Power to Build Battery-Grade Lithium Refinery in Oklahoma

Auto worker installing a lithium-ion EV battery

(Credit: Unsplash)

by | Jan 12, 2024

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Stardust Power has plans to build a new battery-grade lithium refinery in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and expects eligibility to receive up to $257 million in state and federal economic incentives for the new site.

Stardust Power said it aims to support energy independence in the United States by producing lithium needed for electric vehicle batteries supplied by U.S.-based brine sources. The company’s new refinery will reportedly be able to produce up to 50,000 tons of lithium carbonate annually.

The company, which plans to break ground on the project in the first half of 2024, said Oklahoma’s central U.S. location was a major factor in the decision.

Since deliveries of lithium and additional materials needed for battery production will be delivered to the site, the area’s freight transport options will reportedly provide easy access to the facility. The company also cites the state’s highly skilled workforce trained in oil and gas engineering as another key reason for choosing to build there.

“Currently there is no large-scale refinery for battery-grade lithium in the United States, exposing the country to undue national security and supply chain risk,” said Roshan Pujari, founder and CEO of Stardust Power. “When fully operational, our new lithium refinery will both speed America’s energy transition and boost Oklahoma’s local economy, creating significant new investment and employment opportunities. We are excited to call Oklahoma our new home.”

Refinery Contributes to Oklahoma’s Growing Renewables Industry

While Oklahoma’s economy has been connected to the fossil fuel economy for decades, the state has more recently been considered an emerging national leader in sustainable energy development.

Major clean energy company Enel and EV company Canoo have built manufacturing facilities in the state, and it is currently the fourth largest generator of renewable energy of all U.S. states. In 2021, wind power alone is reportedly supporting more of Oklahoma’s electricity generation than natural gas.

Stardust Power said that this access to renewable energy will contribute to limiting carbon emissions related to the new facility’s operations.

“Stardust Power’s more than a billion-dollar investment is a testament to Oklahoma’s ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to energy, and our focus on workforce development,” said Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt. “As we see more energy manufacturers moving to our state, due in part to our competitive, performance-based incentives, Stardust Power’s new lithium refinery will create hundreds of new jobs while cementing Oklahoma’s place as the best state in the nation for critical mineral manufacturing.”

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