Tesla Proposes $3.8 Million Donation for Roads Near Lithium Refinery

Tesla Proposes $3.8 Million Donation for Roads Near Lithium Refinery

Tesla proposed a $3.8 million donation to improve roads near its lithium refinery in Robstown, TX, in Nueces County, to improve county roads 30, 79 and 81. 

Nueces County commissioners will discuss the proposal at their next meeting June 7. Commissioner John Marez explained the approval process is complicated. 

“That’s why it does have to go through the commissioner’s court to be able to review and accept the agreement. It will help the roads directly tied into their proposed plan or property they currently own in Nueces County,” he told a local news outlet. 

Marez said Tesla’s donation would go towards widening roads and pavement improvements. The roads Tesla aims to improve lead to its Corpus Christi, TX, lithium refinery. Most of the donation will ensure the roads accommodate the heavy-duty equipment and vehicles passing through to the lithium refinery. 

Marez saw Tesla’s donation in a positive light, commenting he expects the proposal will be well-received by the other commissioners. 

“We feel the road improvements are needed,” Marez said. “And maybe something we typically couldn’t afford, but also provides the guidelines they need to meet their needs as far as vehicles coming to and from their facility. I believe in the end it’s a win-win project.”

Tesla broke ground on its $375 million lithium refinery in Corpus Christi in May. The facility is located southwest of Robstown, but within the Robstown Independent School District (ISD). Robstown ISD will generate tax revenue from Tesla’s lithium facility. 

“Our goal is to start commissioning portions of the facility before the end of the year,” Andrew Baglino, senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering at Tesla, explained in this year's first quarter earnings call. 

“The refinery uses the sulfate-free spodumene refining process with reduced process costs, no acid or caustic reagents, lower embodied energy. It actually produces a beneficial byproduct that can be repurposed in construction materials,” Baglino said. 

Tesla aims to start operations at the lithium refinery by the end of the year. The company estimates the lithium facility will have a capacity of 50 GWh annually. 

We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

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