Albemarle says ‘not impossible’ to meet surging lithium demand – by Nick Lazzaro (S&P Global – February 17, 2022)

The lithium industry may be able to narrow the gap between tight supply and expanding market growth by 2030, even as demand forecasts continue to rise and analysts warn of a large deficit, Albemarle executives said Feb. 17.

“I think you’re seeing that we’re getting through some of those growing pains,” CEO Kent Masters said during a call with analysts. “It is a stretch, and it does require some new technology and operating in some places where historically the lithium industry hasn’t done that, but it’s not impossible.”

Many producers in the industry will need to successfully meet targeted milestones to fill the widening supply shortage, said Eric Norris, president of Albemarle’s lithium segment.

“It does reflect a hard slog, and everybody’s got to step up and execute well in order to meet that demand,” Norris said. Albemarle, a specialty chemicals company, recently raised its lithium market forecast by 30%, as it now expects lithium demand to reach about 1.5 million mt by 2025 and 3 million mt by 2030, according to Masters.

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