On September 9, some media quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that Tesla is planning to build a lithium refinery in Texas or Louisiana to seek tax relief, and is currently evaluating plans to build a lithium refinery in Texas.
As early as 2020, there were rumors that Tesla was going to build a lithium refinery in Texas, which is expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2022. However, judging from the latest news, according to people familiar with the matter, construction of the plant may begin as early as the fourth quarter of 2022, and commercial production will not be possible until the fourth quarter of 2024.
Tesla told the Texas government that if the factory is built, it will be the first "battery-grade lithium hydroxide refining facility" in North America, and at the same time, it will provide the necessary supply chain for large-scale electric vehicle batteries. Tesla noted that the process it will use is "innovative and designed to consume fewer hazardous reagents and produce usable by-products" compared to traditional processes.
Musk even called refined lithium a "license to print money", which is enough to show how profitable the industry is. In Tesla's filing with the state, it has submitted an application for the relevant tax relief to the Texas Comptroller's Office. In addition, Tesla also hopes that the factory can be located in a location with smooth logistics, so it is also more interested in another location in Louisiana. Tesla did not comment on this.
It is worth mentioning that there are currently dozens of lithium processing projects underway around the world. For example, Albemarle, the world's largest lithium producer, plans to build a new processing plant in the southeastern United States, and Germany, Australia and other countries also have projects. New projects related to lithium processing are constantly being proposed.