Galp and Northvolt chose Setúbal to build new lithium conversion unit

Galp Energia and Northvolt announced they have chosen Setúbal to install a new conversion unit. Investment is around €700 million.

Galp Energia and Northvolt announced this Wednesday that they have chosen Setúbal as the city where the new lithium refinery will be installed. The plant is expected to represent an investment close to €700 million, and to create approximately 200 direct jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs.

In a statement, the company led by Andy Brown said that the site chosen was the Sapec Bay Industrial Park, highlighting that it “has good access to infrastructure, railway, port facilities and is ideally located for reagents and by-products.”

This unit is expected to have a capacity to produce “28,000 and 35,000 tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide” per year, a material used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries. For this purpose, the industrial unit will use “a proven conversion process, leveraging recent process improvements and technologies to increase its sustainability and efficiency,” Galp Energia explains in a press release.

The “Aurora” project was announced last December and is the result of a partnership between Galp Energia and Sweden’s Northvol, in a 50-50 joint venture. This project “will make use of green energy to power the conversion process, thus minimising dependence on natural gas” and is considered one of the largest investments reviewed for the country in the near future.

Galp Energia estimates that “around €700 million” will be invested in this project and that “over 200 direct qualified jobs and over 3,000 indirect jobs” will be created in the region.

The Portuguese company expects operations to happen by year-end 2025, while the commercial operations are due to begin in 2026.