Various energy news websites have reported that construction started in June for Spain’s first GW-scale production base for lithium battery cells. The base is located in Noblejas, a municipality in the province of Toledo and within the autonomous region of Castilla-La Mancha. The main developer of this project is Phi4Tech, a company specializing in graphene-related technologies. The base is scheduled to begin pilot production before the end of this year.
This March, Phi4Tech and the regional government of Extremadura jointly announced the plan to establish an integrated industry cluster for lithium batteries. The Noblejas base has the advantage of being in close proximity to the Las Navas mine that contains lithium deposits. In Extremadura, mining company Lithium Iberia will build a refinery for lithium and a production plant for cathode materials. Additionally, there is a proposal to reopen the Aguablanca mine in Extremadura as this mine has deposits of nickel and cobalt. According to reporting by other media outlets, the Las Navas mine will be able to start supplying lithium to nearby battery production plants in 2023.
Capacity building at the Noblejas base will be implemented in multiple phases. Before the end of this year, the production capacity of the base is expected to reach 300MWh. Afterward, it will expand to 2GWh in 2023, 10GWh in 2025, and finally 20GWh in 2027. The construction of the Noblejas base and cathode production facility in Extremadura (i.e., in the province of Cáceres) will entail a total investment of around €1 billion. The development of the two projects is also expected to create 1,600 new jobs.
Phi4Tech and Lithium Iberia have also teamed up to build another GW-scale battery production base in Extremadura (i.e., in the province of Badajoz). This base will have a total production capacity of 10GWh and be developed in five phases, with 2GW being added each phase. Phi4Tech estimates that €400 million will be invested into the construction of the Badajoz base.