[Extract] "It's not a complex Mining Project, it's a very easy Oil & Gas Project!" - Cris Moreno - Vulcan Energy Resources
Cris Moreno is Deputy CEO at Vulcan Energy Resources. Vulcan aims to decarbonize the transition to electric mobility through its world-first Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project for electric vehicle batteries and its renewable energy business.
This exploration of the Lithium World has taken me far from home. Canada, USA, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, UK... But one of the most exciting projects in this new wave actually happens to be a dozen kilometers away from where I cut my wastewater engineering teeth, and Vulcan, the project developer, just signed an off-take agreement with a car factory I can see if I climb up my village's hill.
And this makes sense for a ton of reasons! First, the Rhine Valley used to be a Salt Flat, exactly like the Atacama Desert nowadays, and this was just 35 million years ago. So on the geological scale of things, it makes sense.
Then, it is a geothermal region, and Germany actively pushes to add more geothermal plants to its energy mix, which means thousands of cubic meters of water that are pumped from that lithium-rich aquifer anyways, which allows you to emulate the example we heard from Standard Lithium, piggy-backing on Lanxess' Bromine business.
But maybe most importantly, Europe is actively building about 30 battery gigafactories. And that's a staple in the zero-carbon transition of mobility! But to feed those factories, Europe will need lithium at some point. Today, 97% of that lithium is imported from China. And with China's own plans to further build up the battery value chain, they may well use all their lithium themselves, which would leave Europe without any white oil.
So Vulcan's endeavors in the Upper Rhine Valley, today on the German side and anytime soon on the French side, would not only be one of the largest lithium projects in the World. But from 2026 on, it might also be Europe's EV strategy lifeline - as long as I'm not fully up to speed with my own backyard project.
So what's Vulcan's plan to a - quote unquote - "Glorified Water Processing Facility" able to deliver 24'000 tons of lithium hydroxide in its first phase, but also 300 GWh of renewable power and 250 GWh of renewable heat? Cris will be our guide, just after this reminder that if you like what you hear, if all of this is of any value to you, please take this episode and share it with a friend, a colleague, your boss, or your team, and I'll meet you on the other side!
➡️ Check out the entire article on how Vulcan enabled its Zero Carbon Lithium project by selling its products years ahead, including a teaser, a slider, and a full transcript on the (don't) Waste Water website!
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