Nobian and Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd. sign term sheet27 April 2023
Vulcan and Nobian sign term sheet for proposed strategic partnership in lithium production
Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd. (Vulcan, the Company; ASX: VUL) and Nobian GmbH (Nobian) have announced today that they have signed a term sheet for a proposed strategic partnership aiming to jointly develop and operate a central lithium plant in Germany.
Creating value by jointly developing lithium production in Europe
Through the partnership both parties seek to leverage both Nobian’s deep and long-standing experience in industrial electrolysis and operating chlor-alkali plants, as well Vulcan’s Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project, which uses chlor-alkali type electrolysis cells to produce lithium hydroxide.
The Term Sheet builds on 15 months of collaboration between Nobian and Vulcan. Last year Nobian and Vulcan already announced the start of their cooperation to assess the feasibility of producing lithium hydroxide from lithium chloride in Germany. Lithium hydroxide is a key ingredient for the fast-growing European battery and Electric Vehicles (EV) market.
Nobian CEO, Michael Koenig: “We are excited about this next step towards the participation from Nobian in the development of a Central Lithium Plant in Germany together with Vulcan. We are further strengthening our existing cooperation in a rapidly developing and growing market that will be key for a green economy and the strategic autonomy of Europe. Nobian is looking forward to employ and leverage its long-standing expertise in chlor-alkali electrolysis to support the production of lithium hydroxide from lithium chloride in this project. It is important that we develop a stable lithium supply chain within the EU, to step-up in the production of critical raw materials as well as European battery production.”
Vulcan Managing Director and CEO, Dr. Francis Wedin, commented: “This is a positive step forward, as part of our stated strategy to prioritise project level equity investments for funding of Phase One of our Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project. After 15 months of collaboration, Nobian and Vulcan have already developed a very positive relationship, and we therefore welcome this step towards Nobian’s equity investment into our Central Lithium Plant (CLP) in Germany, to assist us with providing secure, sustainable and carbon neutral lithium chemicals into the European electric vehicle market, helping to enable the transition to fully electrified transport.”
Fast growing lithium market
Due to the strong and growing demand for EVs the EU is one of the fastest growing lithium markets in the world, without local supply of lithium. The project supports the EU’s ambition to become less dependent on external sources for raw materials and technology, including the creation of European battery factories and local sourcing of Lithium. In addition the EU aims to ban the production of fossil fuel cars as of 2035.
Sustainable battery and EV production
The cooperation with Vulcan supports Nobian’s sustainability ambition to become carbon neutral by 2040, and to “Grow Greener Together” with partners. Vulcan’s lithium production is based on a net zero carbon production process. The cooperation also contributes to European and German climate goals to become climate neutral in 2050 by increasing electric and green mobility.
The Term Sheet is subject to the Parties entering into definitive agreements, which to be completed within 10 weeks from the date of signing of the Term Sheet.
The CAPEX needed for the development of the central lithium plant is valued at €322M. The Parties will work together on future expansions of its capacity. Nobian will initially contribute EUR 15 million upon execution of the Definitive Agreements. Nobian will over time contribute 50% of the funding requirements for the construction and commissioning of the CLP.
The negotiations about the Definitive Agreements will take place in good faith. Further milestones and conditions will be jointly defined in the Definitive Agreements. The Term Sheet is not intended to be legally binding between the Parties, except for provisions relating to costs, confidentiality, good faith negotiations and governing law.
Completion of the Definitive Agreements is conditional on the satisfactory completion of confirmatory legal, business, commercial and technical due diligences by Nobian. As well as approval of the Definitive Agreements by Nobian’s and by Vulcan’s board and/or other competent corporate bodies and/or authorities, as applicable. The Parties will also work together on future expansions of capacity of the CLP at the intended site, in line with the strategic partnership nature of the relationship.
Nobian is a European market leader in the production of salt, essential chemicals, and energy for industry, varying from construction and cleaning to pharmaceuticals and water treatment. We excel in the safe and reliable provision of high-purity salt, chlor-alkali, chloromethane, and hydrogen, thanks to our integrated value chain with modern production locations in the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. We have a strong history in salt production which goes back more than 100 years to 1918, and we have deep experience in underground energy storage. Our 1,600 employees are dedicated to becoming safer, more efficient, and more sustainable. This is how we ensure that today’s essential products keep improving our lives in the future through chemistry on which you can rely. www.nobian.com
Vulcan is aiming to become the world’s first lithium producer with net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Its ZERO CARBON LITHIUM™ Project intends to produce a battery-quality lithium hydroxide chemical product from its combined geothermal energy and lithium resource, which is Europe’s largest lithium resource, in Germany. Vulcan’s unique, ZERO CARBON LITHIUM™ Project aims to produce both renewable geothermal energy, and lithium hydroxide, from the same deep brine source. In doing so, Vulcan intends to address lithium’s EU market requirements by reducing the high carbon and water footprint of production, and total reliance on imports. Vulcan aims to supply the lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle market in Europe, which is the fastest growing in the world. The Vulcan Zero Carbon Lithium™ project has a resource which could satisfy Europe’s needs for the electric vehicle transition, from a source with net zero greenhouse gas emissions, for many years to come.