Tesla is expected to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its upcoming $375 million lithium refinery just outside Corpus Christi, Texas. Reports suggest that the event will start around 3 p.m. local time on Monday.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Texas Governor Greg Abbott are expected to speak at the upcoming groundbreaking event. As noted in a KIIITV News report, other local, state, and federal leaders will also be in attendance.
The facility will be built southwest of Robstown, but it will still be situated within the Robstown Independent School District (ISD). Tesla’s investment in the region will benefit the Robstown ISD, as it will generate tax revenue from the plant’s operations, the publication noted.
The Tesla lithium refinery in Texas will produce battery-grade lithium. Tesla has noted that it will be one of the first of its kind in the United States. During Tesla’s 2023 Investor Day event, the company stated that the Corpus Christi lithium refinery will start operations at the end of 2023, and it will have a capacity of 50 GWh per year.
Texas Governor Abbott has been supportive of the facility. During a speech in Corpus Christi on April 3, Abbott praised Nueces County for its role in helping Tesla expedite the permitting process for the plant. He emphasized the importance of the lithium refinery to Texas’ state strategy.
“Facilities like this lithium refinery are core components to our state strategy for the state of Texas to be more self-reliant,” Abbott said.
Abbott also highlighted the critical need for lithium amid growing tensions with China, the primary source of the material. He expressed concerns that any disruption in lithium supply from China could have a significant impact on the state’s economy and daily operations.
“That’s why part of our strategy is for the state of Texas to be involved in producing more lithium, refining more lithium so that we will be the source point of the lithium that we need and that our businesses need to keep Texas flourishing,” he said.