Harvey hears details of Kemerton lithium refinery plans

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Edwin Berends
Camera IconEdwin Berends Credit: Michael Philipps

A global chemicals giant was met with a round of applause at a community consultation forum in what the Harvey shire president said could become “a billion-dollar project” for the region.

Albemarle’s vice-president of engineering Edwin Berends discussed the company’s plans for a lithium refinery at the Kemerton Industrial Park in the Leschenault Pavilion on July 11.

Harvey shire president Tania Jackson said Mr Berends explained the company’s plans and the refining process, receiving a positive community response.

“This could be a billion-dollar project for the region,” Cr Jackson said.

“Generally the community expressed a lot of interest in what could come out of the refinery for the region.

“When Edwin said Albemarle would use Australian investment and an Australian workforce, it was met a huge round of applause from the audience.

“There was a lot of enthusiasm around the opportunities this project could bring.”

Cr Jackson said community members raised concerns about emissions and water management but Mr Berends responded thoroughly to these.

She said the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation was already working with Landcorp about strategic drainage which would go along the spine road near the proposed site, and council staff was assessing Albemarle’s applications in the meantime.

“There has been very open communication between the shire and Albemarle since this all began,” Cr Jackson said.

Albemarle’s Kemerton proposal has received initial approval from the Environmental Protection Authority which is compiling a report for Environment Minister Stephen Dawson who will make the final decision.

The proposal will then go before a joint development council.

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