Vulcan makes third important appointment, adding industry expertise

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Mar 25, 2021, in Technology

Emerging zero carbon lithium producer, Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL; FRA: 6KO) has appointed senior German chemicals industry executive Dr. Heidi Grön as Non-Executive Director.

Dr. Grön is a chemical engineer by background with 20 years’ experience in the chemicals industry.

Since 2007, Grön has been a senior executive with Evonik, one of the largest specialty chemicals companies in the world, with a market capitalisation of €14 billion and 32,000 employees.

In this role, Grön is currently responsible for global product safety of nine large growth business units, as well as undertaking impact assessment and development of solutions for the chemicals strategy for sustainability as an essential part of the European Union Green Deal.

Pointing to the valuable expertise that Grön will bring to Vulcan, Chairman Gavin Rezos said, “Dr Heidi Grön has taken chemical products and processes from a market concept through to full scale production in new chemical refineries in Germany, the US and China and we are delighted that Heidi will bring her invaluable project and market development experience to the Vulcan Board.”

Rezos also noted that Dr Horst Kreuter, a founder of Vulcan and one of the drivers of the group’s business in Germany, would be retiring from the Vulcan Board to fully focus on his role as Executive Director for Vulcan’s project development company in Germany.

Dr Kreuter has been appointed as a Board Advisor in relation to geothermal project development, in keeping with the Board’s policy of having a majority of independent directors.

This reaffirms Vulcan’s commitment to good governance, and it is also worth noting that Grön brings significant expertise across the environmental and social areas, reinforcing the group’s goal of leading the way as an ESG company.

Robust cash position and the right people in place

Vulcan Energy is aiming to become the world’s first Zero Carbon Lithium® producer, by producing a battery-quality lithium hydroxide chemical product with net zero carbon footprint from its combined geothermal and lithium resource, which is Europe’s largest lithium resource, in the Upper Rhine Valley of Germany.

As well as expressing her excitement in being part of this important project for Vulcan and the broader German industrial environment, Grön noted the significant job creation that will occur in the Upper Rhine Valley region as the project progresses.

Grön’s appointment is the third important addition to Vulcan’s executive and operational team in March.

In mid-March, Ms. Poliscanova a Senior Director with the European Union Transport and Environment (T&E) who was instrumental in shaping policies around EU vehicle CO2 standards and sustainable batteries was appointed as an advisor to the board.

This was soon followed by the appointment of a former Tesla executive to provide consulting services to Vulcan in relation to the lithium market, battery supply chain and offtake.

Ms. Liu led and managed Tesla’s multi-billion-dollar strategic partnerships and sourcing portfolios that supported Tesla’s Energy and Battery business units including Battery, Battery Raw Material, Energy Storage, Solar and Solar Glass, including raw materials sourcing efforts such as lithium for battery cells.

Read: Former Tesla Head of Battery and Energy Supply Chain joins VUL

Consequently, management is steadily laying the foundations to hit the ground running with the construction stage once piloting test work, final permitting and the DFS have been completed in the coming 12 months.

Having recently completed a sizeable capital raising of $120 million, Vulcan is financially robust and well-positioned in terms of human resources to deliver on its goals.

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