Stellantis extends battery metal equity stake splurge
The Franco-Italian automaker replaces a simple offtake agreement with lithium project investment
Amsterdam-headquartered OEM Stellantis has continued its strategy of taking equity stakes in projects that will supply it with battery metals with a $100mn+ cash injection into US-based Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR). The deal replaces a vanilla supply deal struck in June last year with an agreement for higher volumes and the Stellantis holding in CTR.
Stellantis will now receive 65,000mt/yr of lithium hydroxide from CTR’s Hell’s Kitchen project in California’s Imperial County starting from 2027, rather than the 25,000mt/yr previously agreed. The deal marks the fifth of seven Stellantis supply agreements struck this year where the automaker has agreed to inject capital into the project.
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And it is a second equity investment for the firm in a lithium mining project. The firm stumped up €50mn ($54.4mn) in June last year to become the second-largest shareholder in Australia’s Vulcan Energy Resources, helping fund production expansion drilling at Vulcan’s Upper Rhine Valley Brine Field in Germany.
That deal had a similar footprint to the CTR transaction — with Stellantis building on an initial LiOH offtake agreement with an extension, doubling the agreement length from five to 10 years, and project finance. So it is clearly a strategic priority of the OEM to hold stakes in many of the projects tasked with supplying its battery metals.
Presenting the firm’s Q2 results last month, CEO Carlos Tavares said the firm had secured the raw material supply it needed for its forecast global EV production up to 2027, and expected to be able to announce it had agreements of all its needs up to 2030 “very soon”.