By KERRY SMITH
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – California-based Controlled Thermal Resources broke ground Jan. 30 on the first U.S.-based geothermal brine lithium production plant.
The $1.85 billion plant is actually the first of what will eventually be known as CTR’s Lithium Valley Campus. The Salton Sea, California’s largest lake – measuring 35 miles long and 15 miles wide – will be the source in producing an estimated 25,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide annually. Lithium is the main ingredient in high-energy-density batteries, such as those that power electric vehicles.
This projected annual production is estimated to support 415,000 electric vehicles.
Approximately 480 construction jobs are anticipated to be created during construciton of this first plant on the campus.
CTR expects the project to reach its first development stage by 2025. The global firm has been working in the Salton Sea region for more than 30 years.