Oil and gas company ExxonMobil announced Monday that works have begun for the company's first phase of lithium production in North America, which will be located in southwest Arkansas.
Targeting its first lithium production in 2027, ExxonMobil said it is evaluating growth opportunities globally with the aim of becoming a major supplier of lithium for the manufacturing needs of well over a million EVs per year by 2030.
According to the company, the product will be branded 'Mobil™ Lithium', building on the technical partnership between Mobil and the automotive industry.
'Lithium is essential to the energy transition, and ExxonMobil has a leading role to play in paving the way for electrification,' Dan Ammann, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, was quoted as saying in the statement.
'This landmark project applies decades of ExxonMobil expertise to unlock vast supplies of North American lithium with far fewer environmental impacts than traditional mining operations,' Ammann added.
Early in 2023, ExxonMobil purchased the rights to 120,000 gross acres of the Smackover formation in southern Arkansas, which is considered to have one of the most abundant lithium resources in North America.
'South Arkansas is our state’s all-around energy capital, producing oil and natural gas, and now, thanks to investments like ExxonMobil’s and their combination of skills and scale, lithium,' said Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Sanders said, “Arkansas would provide support for an all-of-the-above energy strategy that guarantees good, high-paying jobs for Arkansans.”
- Lithium: a crucial component of EV batteries
Since lithium is an essential part of EV batteries, it can help reduce emissions in transportation, which now make up around 25% of global energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The market for lithium is predicted to quadruple by 2030 due to its widespread application in energy storage systems and other sustainable energy technologies.
Today, Western Australia, South America and China produce most of the world’s lithium.
'This project is a win-win-win,' Ammann said.
'It's a perfect example of how ExxonMobil can enhance North American energy security, expand supplies of a critical industrial material, and enable the continued reduction of emissions associated with transportation, which is essential to meeting society’s net-zero goals,' he concluded.
By Duygu Alhan