Livent Corporation says it held a a groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 30 at its manufacturing plant in Bessemer City for the construction of additional lithium hydroxide production facilities.
The expansion project is expected to enable Livent to increase its production of lithium hydroxide by 5,000 metric tons per year. Lithium hydroxide is an essential component of the advanced lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles as well as in high performance industrial greases and other applications.
Livent said in a statement its investment is expected to create as many as 85 construction jobs. The project is expected to contribute $16 to $18 million of local economic value during the construction phase and start-up in late 2020.
“We are grateful for the continued support and collaboration of the local and state government in North Carolina for helping make this expansion possible,” said Livent CEO and president Paul Graves. “Livent is proud to invest in creating new jobs and economic activity in the U.S., and specifically in Bessemer City, which has been a valued partner to us for decades. Bessemer City is one of the cornerstones of Livent’s business and is becoming increasingly more important to many of our customers who want the flexibility of sourcing their lithium products from the Western hemisphere.”
Livent currently has about 240 employees in Bessemer City and additional sales and operations personnel in Charlotte. Many local Livent employees attended the by-invitation-only groundbreaking ceremony, joining municipal and state government leaders, plant managers and Livent corporate executives.
Barbara Fochtman, Livent’s global head of manufacturing and operations, said in the statement, “Many of our Bessemer City employees are actively engaged in the community and are excited about the opportunities our expansion will provide. Since the 1950s, the site has been a key contributor to many of the engineering breakthroughs that underpin modern life. Livent is committed to ensuring that Bessemer City remains an important part of the global revolution in electric vehicles and lithium technology innovation.”