Europe's 1st rare earth processing plant proposed in UK

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A rare earth processing plant is proposed to be built in Hull, a port city in England, to supply the booming offshore wind industry, the Financial Times newspaper reported on Monday.

The Britain-listed exploration company Pensana Rare Earths has submitted a planning application for the 125-million-U.S.-dollar facility, which would be Europe's first rare earth processing plant and would create 100 direct jobs, said the newspaper.

The company would produce rare earth oxides, which are used to manufacture magnets that drive the motors of offshore wind turbines and electric vehicles, according to the newspaper.

The plant will process neodymium and praseodymium from a proposed mine in Angola, it added.

Paul Atherley, chairman of Pensana, was quoted as saying that the company chose Hull because of its port and world-class infrastructure. Hull is also close to the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm, one of the world's largest.

The British government plans to increase the locally made content of turbines as part of its 10-point plan announced in November last year for the "green industrial revolution".

Unveiling the plan, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Nov. 18, 2020 that Britain will mobilize more than 12 billion pounds (about 16.4 billion dollars) of government investment, alongside three times that amount from the private sector by 2030, to build up "the green economy" backing up to 250,000 jobs. 

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