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Tesla building Nueces County refinery

Australia’s Tianqi Lithium Energy lithium hydroxide refinery, which is similar to what electric automaker Tesla is building in rural Nueces County. Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia photo

Electric automaker Tesla has begun construction on a Nueces County lithium hydroxide refinery near Driscoll, about 30 miles southwest of Corpus Christi, the company announced on March 1.

The $375 million plant will produce lithium hydroxide for electric automobile batteries. Tesla expects to hire a permanent workforce of about 160 employees.

The company considered sites in Louisiana and Canada. In January, Tesla posted an employment notice for three positions in Nueces County but made no announcements on site selection.

Tesla requested and received a tax incentive package from the Robstown Independent School District. The company also asked for tax incentives from Nueces County but later withdrew the request.

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Tesla makes most of if not all consumer products

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