ICL, an international specialist minerals firm, marked the commencement of construction for its battery materials plant in St. Louis, Missouri, the US, with a groundbreaking ceremony.

This facility, anticipated to be the first expansive lithium iron phosphate (LFP) site in the US, comes with a price tag of $400m and is slated for operation by 2025. Its establishment will address the increasing requirements of the energy storage, electric vehicle (EV), and clean energy sectors for domestically produced and sourced vital battery components. The project received a $197m grant from the US Department of Energy.

ICL North America managing director and Phosphate Division president Phil Brown said: “ICL is excited to be building the first North American, commercial-scale plant for this critical component required by the energy-storage, mobility and infrastructure end-markets, and we’re proud to make this investment in St. Louis and to create more than 150 high-paying union and professional positions in our hometown.

“We’re excited about the demand we are already seeing for this capacity and are looking forward to moving into this new business. Additionally, as we rapidly move ahead, we are looking forward to partnering with some of the premier participants in this exciting new industry.”

Anticipated to cover 140,000ft2, the facility is projected to produce 30,000 metric tonnes of LFP, forming the cornerstone of the company’s worldwide battery materials enterprise.

The venture will generate between 800 to 900 union construction roles, with McCarthy Building Companies from St. Louis serving as the project’s main contractor.

Additionally, ICL is collaborating with Aleees to establish an indigenous, cohesive, and eco-friendly LFP supply chain for customers within the U.S. Aleees, headquartered in Taiwan, is a manufacturer of LFP battery materials and holds global intellectual property licencing.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson said: “We’re proud to have ICL Group in Missouri and even prouder to be able to break ground on this first-of-its-kind facility in our nation right here in St. Louis.

“We thank our local, state, and federal partners for helping Missouri secure this project and making our state an easy choice for ICL to grow and expand. We look forward to the company’s success and the opportunities it will offer to Missourians in the St. Louis region.”