Hydro acquires a 12 percent stake in Lithium de France, marking a strategic expansion in sustainable battery materials for Hydro Batteries. Other shareholders in Lithium de France are Arverne Group and Equinor Ventures.
Lithium de France develops technology and methods to extract heat and lithium from geothermal brines, and produce lithium with significantly lower CO2 footprint than is currently commercially available. Lithium de France has secured additional funding of EUR 44 million in this Series B financing. The capital increase will be subscribed by its current shareholders, Arverne Group and Equinor Ventures, and by Hydro as a new investor.
“Lithium is a key ingredient in all types of rechargeable batteries and the demand for lithium-ion batteries is continuing to surpass earlier stated predictions. At the same time, there is an increasing concern about lithium supply, and the footprint of existing mining and production processes. We believe that direct lithium extraction (DLE) is the most promising way for Europe to develop sustainable local production of lithium,” says Head of Hydro Batteries, Morten Halleraker.
Lithium de France plans to develop geothermal projects in the Alsace region, based on hot brines (salty water) located in geological formations several kilometers into the earth. The brines contain lithium, a critical raw material in battery production. The company aims to utilize these hot brines for local, sustainable and economical heat production, on which they will extract low-carbon geothermal lithium, supplying Europe’s need for sustainable battery materials.
“This is a good fit with Hydro’s capabilities and sustainable battery materials agenda, with a good value potential towards 2030,” says Halleraker. Access to sustainably sourced raw materials to support the green transition is a key challenge for the European battery industry and Hydro is committed to play an active role in this transition.