At the end of 2017, GEA received yet another order from MSP Engineering Pty Ltd to equip a new, ultra-modern facility for the production and processing of lithium. GEA was awarded an order of a similar size only around a year ago.
The new plant belonging to Tianqi Lithium Australia Pty Ltd will also be located in Kwinana, 38 km south of Perth, Western Australia. The order will once again see GEA supply and install evaporation, crystallization and drying technology for the new facility. The installation is planned for 2018. The Tianqi Lithium group has a majority stake in the Talison Greenbushes lithium mining operations and is the world’s leading producer of lithium concentrate from spodumene. It is currently expanding its existing operations for the separation and washing of lithium hydroxide. The new facility should be able to convert an additional approx. 161,000 tons of spodumene concentrate into 24,000 tons of lithium hydroxide per year. Lithium hydroxide is used in the growing global market for lithium-ion batteries. As was previously the case, this order will see GEA take care of the development, manufacture, testing and commissioning of the key process equipment required to produce pure lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LiOH.H2O) and its by-product, dried sodium sulphate.
“The growing market for electric cars and smartphones, for example, has resulted in global demand for lithium rising continuously. We’re delighted to have secured another major order in this promising market, and it shows that GEA is perfectly positioned thanks to its extensive know-how in the realization of technology projects for lithium processing,” said Niels Erik Olsen, Member of the Executive Board of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft with responsibility for the Business Area Solutions. “Our technology portfolio, which includes spray drying of lithium, allows us to cover significant parts of the overall production chain for lithium. Our technology helps sustain the exploitation of the precious lithium that is essential for the production of lithium-ion batteries.”