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Albemarle (ALB) plans to locate the new lithium mega-flex facility in South Carolina to keep pace with the growing demand for electric cars and lithium-ion batteries.
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The facility, which was first announced last year without a specific location, will double the company's lithium processing capacity and thus its ability to supply key customers - including Tesla Inc - who are hungry for more North American supplies of the battery metal. Already the world's largest lithium producer with major facilities in Chile, China and Australia, Albemarle has moved aggressively to expand in the United States, which it sees as its next major area of growth thanks to tax credits and other incentives offered by the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act. The South Carolina plant will be able to process 50,000 tonnes of lithium each year from rock Albemarle plans to mine in North Carolina as well as from recycled batteries.