The Italian government is poised to expedite the licensing process for lithium battery production at Glencore’s Portovesme site in Sardinia. However, before any action can be taken, the government requires a detailed business plan from the Swiss company. This statement was issued by Adolfo Urso, the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy.
Earlier this year, Glencore, in collaboration with battery recycling company Li-Cycle Holdings, declared their intention to establish a recycling center for electric car batteries in Italy. The initiative aims to produce essential materials, notably lithium carbonate, to address the increasing global demand driven by the electric vehicle industry.
Despite this initiative, Glencore revealed on Sunday its contemplation of alternate solutions for the hub. This follows the Sardinian regional government’s decision against a fast-tracked approval for the pilot scheme. Minister Urso emphasized the government’s anticipation of a comprehensive business plan from the company, highlighting the necessity of collaboration between multiple stakeholders to bring the project to fruition.
When questioned about the government’s potential role in accelerating the licensing process, Urso confirmed the possibility, referring to a new law that offers flexibility for strategic sites. The specifics of this law were not provided during the discussion.
Glencore and Li-Cycle Holdings previously announced that they plan to utilize Glencore’s existing facilities in Portovesme, Sardinia, for their hub. The anticipated commencement for the hub is set for late 2026 or early 2027. Contrarily, the Sardinian regional government has asserted that a comprehensive environmental impact assessment is obligatory for the pilot project’s progression.