Borderlands: Tesla Proposes $375 Million Lithium Refinery For Electric Vehicle Batteries In Texas

Borderlands is a weekly recap of developments in the world of cross-border trucking and trade between the United States and Mexico. This week: Tesla is proposing a $375 million lithium refinery for electric vehicle batteries in Texas; PGT Trucking Expands Border Operations; Lineage Logistics signs lease at Houston ColdPort; and the Otay Mesa Port of Entry receives a $150 million federal grant.

Tesla seeks $375 million lithium refinery for EV batteries in Texas

Faced with growing global demand for electric vehicles, the automaker Tesla Inc. seeks to create a national lithium supply chain for electric vehicle batteries.

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) recently filed a notice with the State of Texas requesting special tax relief for the proposed lithium refinery which will be located in Robstown, Texas, approximately 20 miles from the Port of Corpus Christi and less than 200 miles from its Gigafactory Texas in Austin.

Tesla touted the proposed lithium refinery as the first of its kind in the United States, saying it would “process raw ore into a usable state for battery production,” according to an application with the Texas Comptroller’s Office dated August 22.

Tesla said it wants a site with access to shipping channels along the Gulf of Mexico.

“Tesla will ship lithium products from the refinery by truck and rail to various Tesla battery manufacturing sites supporting the electric vehicle and large-scale battery supply chain,” according to state documents.

If approved, Tesla could begin construction of the refinery by the end of the year and production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide could begin in 2024. The refinery could create up to 162 full-time jobs. by 2025, with salaries of up to $81,000 per person. year, Tesla said.

Tesla has not received any regulatory permits and said its final decision will depend on the amount of state and local property tax relief it can receive, saying it is a “determining factor for investing in Texas”.

According to an analysis of the Austin American Statesmanthe tax program could save Tesla about $16.2 million in taxes.

In its application to the Texas Comptroller’s Office, Tesla also said it was considering a site in Louisiana for the lithium refinery, but did not specify a location.

CEO Elon Musk tweeted in April that Tesla may have to start refining lithium due to rising prices.

“The price of lithium has reached insane levels! Tesla may actually have to go into full-scale direct mining and refining unless costs improve,” Musk said. “The element itself is not missing, because lithium is almost everywhere on Earth, but the rate of extraction/refining is slow.”

The price of lithium has risen 120% this year, according to an index tracking Reference Mineral Intelligence. The size of the global lithium market was valued at nearly $7 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow 12% by 2030, according to Grandview Search.

Besides electric vehicle batteries, lithium is also used in a host of other electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones.

“Vehicle electrification is expected to attract a large volume of lithium-ion batteries, which is expected to drive the market over the forecast period,” said Grandview Research.

The United States mines about 1% of the world’s lithium, with the majority of raw lithium supplies coming from Australia, Argentina and Chile. China refines around 60% of the world’s lithium with 148 refineries across the country, according to Gavekal Research, reported by Barrons.

PGT Trucking Expands Border Operations

PGT Trucking Inc. expands operations to Laredo, Texas with a new state-of-the-art logistics center.

The facility will be located on 7.73 acres and will include an operations center, driver amenities and a truck maintenance shop. It will provide a regional base for more than 70 drivers. Completion of the new facility is scheduled for December 2023.

“We look forward to growing our relationships and strengthening our partnerships in the south to meet the international shipping needs of our customers,” Sergio Villarreal, PGT Trucking’s Southwest Regional Operations Manager, said in a statement. Press release.

Based in Pennsylvania, PGT Trucking is a carrier offering flatbed, dedicated, international and specialty services. The company opened its first factory in Laredo in 1995.

Lineage Logistics completes lease at Houston ColdPort

Lineage Logistics recently sign a lease to Houston ColdPort, aimed at expanding its cold storage supply chain solutions in southeast Texas.

Lineage leases a 315,111 square foot warehouse that includes 50 feet of headroom, a 60 foot deep cold storage dock, 38 berths and a 200 foot deep trucking yard with 57 parking stalls .

Houston ColdPort is a newly built industrial park in northeast Houston.

“Houston ColdPort further expands our premier presence in the Greater Houston area and strengthens our capabilities to efficiently import and export customer products through Port Houston,” said Brian Beattie, president, North America West, Lineage Logistics. .

Based in Michigan Lineage Logistics entered into the lease as part of a partnership with the building’s owner and developer, Boomerang Interests. Lineage is one of the world’s largest temperature-controlled industrial real estate investment funds and logistics services provider, with more than 400 facilities in 20 countries.

Otay Mesa Port of Entry Receives $150 Million Federal Grant

The Otay Mesa East Port of Entry in Southern California recently received a $150 million Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act grant from the Biden administration.

The funds will be used for “road, multimodal freight and rail projects that will make the country’s transportation systems safer and more resilient, eliminate supply chain bottlenecks, and improve critical freight movements,” according to a Press release of the Ministry of Transport.

Officials said the federal grant ensures that the $1.1 billion Otay Mesa East-Otay II project will be completed on schedule. The Otay Mesa port of entry is located just south of San Diego along the US-Mexico border.

“It really sets everything up and closes the loop around funding to get us to final construction,” said Maria Rodriguez, project development program manager for the San Diego Association of Governments. border report.

The project began construction last month and will create a new border crossing 3 miles east of the original port of entry at Otay Mesa. It will include 10 lanes, five for passenger vehicles and five for the transport of goods. The project is expected to be completed in 2024.

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