Paris, January 26th 2023, 7.30 am
Eramet and Électricité de Strasbourg commit for the sustainable development of Alsatian lithium
Eramet and Électricité de Strasbourg (ÉS) announce their collaboration by signing an exclusive memorandum of understanding with a view to jointly studying the development of lithium production in Alsace from geothermal brine. The envisaged production, of around 10,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year, could commence by the end of the decade.
Eramet and ES have previously collaborated for several years. As part of the EUGeLi European research project launched in 2020, the two partners carried out experiments in the geothermal wells operated by ÉS at its two operating geothermal power plants in Soultz-sous-Forêts and Rittershoffen, in northern Alsace. Eramet's innovative Direct Lithium Extraction process has proven its efficiency – a world first using an Alsatian geothermal source – and enables local and sustainable lithium production with high yields and efficiency.
Eramet, a French mining and metallurgical group, and ÉS, an Alsatian energy company and producer of local renewable energy, deepen their cooperation through a memorandum of understanding with the objective to eventually operate a geothermal lithium extraction, refining and production capacity.
Within the framework of this partnership, ÉS will bring its knowledge of the geology of the North Alsatian territory and its subsoil, its expertise in the sustainable production of high-temperature geothermal energy, its know-how in electricity and heat marketing, and its historical roots in Alsace.
Eramet will bring its a unique and innovative Direct Lithium Extraction process previously developed for its Centenario project in Argentina, as well as its know-how in the extraction, refining, production and marketing of lithium, a critical metal for the energy transition and the manufacture of electric batteries.
Eramet and ÉS envisage an annual production of approximately 10,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate. This 100% French production corresponds to the needs of approximately 250,000 electric vehicle batteries per year. It could start before the end of the decade if the partners make the Final Investment Decision, which would take place within four years.
This project would also make it possible to produce decarbonised geothermal energy and would contribute to the economic development and energy transition of the Alsace region.
Christel Bories, CEO and Chair of Eramet, said: "This innovative and sustainable project is perfectly in line with our Group's strategy, which aims to produce the metals needed for the energy transition in a responsible manner and strengthens French and European sovereignty for the supply of lithium, which is critical in the battery value chain. We are delighted to be able to rely on ÉS, an experienced partner with recognised know-how."
Cédric Lewandowski, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Électricité de Strasbourg, said: "The sustainable use of the lithium contained in the geothermal water from the Alsatian subsoil is a key development area for the sustainable production of batteries and a strategic opportunity for France. Moreover, high-temperature geothermal energy in Alsace is helping to accelerate the production of local renewable energy. In the field of renewable energies, as in all its activities, ÉS is developing this project as a responsible energy provider. Eramet is an experienced partner, recognised worldwide for its know-how, which shares our values and recognises our ambition for Alsace. Our actions will be carried out in consultation with all the stakeholders in Alsace to ensure a responsible energy future for the region and its inhabitants.”
Eramet transforms the Earth’s mineral resources to provide sustainable and responsible solutions to the growth of the industry and to the challenges of the energy transition.
Its employees are committed to this through their civic and contributory approach in all the countries where the mining and metallurgical group is present.
Manganese, nickel, mineral sands, lithium, and cobalt: Eramet recovers and develops metals that are essential to the construction of a more sustainable world.
As a privileged partner of its industrial clients, the Group contributes to making robust and resistant infrastructures and constructions, more efficient means of mobility, safer health tools and more efficient telecommunications devices.
Fully committed to the era of metals, Eramet’s ambition is to become a reference for the responsible transformation of the Earth’s mineral resources for living well together.
ABOUT ELECTRICITE DE STRASBOURG
Électricité de Strasbourg (ÉS) is developing its activities to offer Alsace a future with low-carbon energy. ÉS is turning Alsace to an energy territory committed for the future through the production of local renewable energy, the supply of energy incorporating a growing share of renewable energy and the search for energy efficiency in its installations dedicated to its customers.
ÉS advises and supports its clients by proposing an innovative energy approach to meet the challenges of the region's energy transition. ÉS has placed responsibility and trust at the heart of its relationship with its clients and partners, and of the Alsace region.
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