…gets nod to build processing plant

One of Europe’s largest nuclear energy companies, Rosatom, has commenced exploration of lithium in Edo and has got the state government’s approval to build a lithium processing plant.

The Commissioner of Mining and Energy, Hon. Enaholo Ojiefoh, who disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Benin City, observed that staff of the company have been resident in Edo State since October 2023, and are advancing on exploration activities.

“We have allocated land for the company to build a lithium processing plant and it will soon commence production of lithium batteries in the state,” Ojeifo said.

He added that not less than three multinational companies are constructing processing plants in the state, which is an indication that the state’s solid mineral market is attaining maturity.

The further noted that a number of states have come to study the Edo model and that the state has been sharing its masterplan with them so as to expand the sector for greater competitiveness.

The project promises to create jobs and enhance technical know-how in the local workforce. It further promises to generate taxes, stem the import of lithium batteries and promote exports which will earn foreign exchange into the Nigerian economy.

A lithium-ion or Li-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery that uses the reversible intercalation of Li+ ions into electronically conducting solids to store energy. In comparison with other commercial rechargeable batteries, Li-ion batteries are characterised by higher specific energy, higher energy density, higher energy efficiency, a longer cycle life, and a longer calendar life. Also noteworthy is a dramatic improvement in lithium-ion battery properties after their market introduction in 1991: within the next 30 years, their volumetric energy density increased threefold while their cost dropped tenfold.

The invention and commercialisation of Li-ion batteries may have had one of the greatest impacts of all technologies in human history, as recognised by the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. More specifically, Li-ion batteries enabled portable consumer electronics, laptop computers, cellular phones, and electric cars, or what has been called the e-mobility revolution.

It also sees significant use for grid-scale energy storage as well as military and aerospace applications.

Lithium-ion cells can be manufactured to optimise energy or power density. Handheld electronics mostly use lithium polymer batteries.