Investors - OCTOBER 23, 2018

Controlled Thermal Resources launches environmentally sustainable lithium-geothermal project in California

by Jody Barhanovich

Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) has launched the company’s $1.8 billion Hell’s Kitchen lithium-geothermal project. Institutional Investing in Infrastructure previously produced an InFocus video with Rod Colwell, CEO of the firm, discussing the Hell’s Kitchen lithium-geothermal project located in the Salton Sea area of California.

“Controlled Thermal Resources has developed an environmentally sustainable solution to produce battery-grade lithium products in a cost-effective, real-time process,” said Colwell. “CTR controls significant resources and land holdings within California’s Salton Sea geothermal field where geothermal brines contain large concentrations of lithium, among other valuable minerals. We expect to be in commercial operation, producing an estimated 75,000 tons of battery-grade lithium carbonate products per annum by 2022.”

He added, “What makes the Salton Sea resource unique is the availability of abundant geothermal steam that allows the extraction and concentration of lithium products to occur in real time, versus environmentally hazardous, time consuming evaporation pond and open-cut mining methods. The by-product of all of this is clean, green lithium products and 100 percent renewable, baseload, geothermal energy.”

Secretary Rodney E. Slater, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and partner at Squire Patton Boggs, stated, “The exponential growth of electric vehicle sales and production is transforming the infrastructure conversation in the United States. The Hell’s Kitchen lithium-geothermal project offers genuine, sustainable solutions and compelling upsides that include the co-location of battery manufacturing facilities and direct rail infrastructure onsite, which will create jobs, and a much-needed economic injection into the Imperial Valley.”

Furthermore, CTR announced the appointment of globally recognized financial advisory firm KPMG to assist the company in its future development stages.

“Global electric vehicle sales are doubling every two years and this trend is only increasing, requiring dramatic expansion in lithium supply.  Market forecasts of lithium demand are at four times’ current production by 2025; 10 times by 2030 and; 20 times by 2040,” said managing director and partner of KPMG corporate finance, Grant Brown. “With this dynamic, the attention of many automotive and battery manufacturers has turned to securing their battery material supply chains.”

Adel Muna, Hatch’s global director of thermal power, agreed that the Hell’s Kitchen project offers significant advantages over current lithium production methods.  “With such prolific lithium concentration in the resource’s geothermal brine, CTR’s Hell’s Kitchen project will revolutionize the way the world seeks to meet the growing lithium demand,” Muna said. “This new, clean technology will reduce waste, minimize water usage, and help combat climate change, while it can also be used to make commercially viable, and very much in-demand lithium and energy products.”

CTR has been planning the Hell’s Kitchen lithium-geothermal project since 2014, and phase one of an estimated 75,000 tons of battery-grade lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) products per annum is anticipated to be in commercial operation by late 2022, with contiguous resources that will ultimately produce around 300,000 tons of LCE per annum in future stages.



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