Albemarle Corporation, a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry, recently announced it has acquired a location in Charlotte, North Carolina, where it will invest at least $180 million to establish the Albemarle Technology Park (ATP), a world-class facility designed for novel materials research, advanced process development, and acceleration of next-generation lithium products to market. The company anticipates that innovations from the new site will enhance lithium recovery, improve production methods, and introduce new forms of lithium to enable breakthrough levels of battery performance.
"Albemarle Technology Park is part of our mine-to-market innovation strategy to invest in the U.S. EV battery supply chain and to be a leader in advanced lithium materials for next-generation energy storage," said Kent Masters, Albemarle CEO. "This facility will focus and accelerate our lithium technology leadership, better enabling the world's transition to more sustainable energy."
Albemarle was awarded a nearly $13 million incentive package from the State of North Carolina to develop the advanced lithium materials research, process development, and product innovation facility in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
"Albemarle's work on the next generation of products related to lithium batteries really advances North Carolina's leadership in the emerging clean energy economy," said Governor Cooper. "Reducing carbon emissions is good for our environment and great for our economy too."
The incentive package is part of a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) supporting a portion of Albemarle's investment to transform the former IBM and Flextronics facility. The company anticipates creating at least 200 jobs at the site, with an average salary of $94,000 per year. In particular, the team intends to triple the number of Ph.D. professionals in the Albemarle Technology Park.
"Charlotte has been home to Albemarle Corporation for several years," said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. "This investment signifies their commitment to the growth and innovation of the company as well as our city, and we have a talented workforce that can fill the jobs this expansion will bring."
Albemarle's vision for the ATP spans from novel lithium materials and manufacturing processes to new product commercialization in close partnership with strategic customers. By co-locating these critical activities and collaborations, the company expects ATP will become a lithium innovation hub that anchors technology leadership in the Southeast U.S., where the EV industry is rapidly expanding. The company anticipates that enhanced process technologies developed at the ATP will unlock new lithium resources, increase sustainability by reducing energy and water use, and enable lithium recovery at end-of-life through cost-effective recycling.
Albemarle expects initial occupancy of the new facility by early 2025 and completion of the ATP campus by late 2026.