Global lithium giant Albemarle has revealed plans to build a FIFO-style camp in the beachside haven of Binningup, which would house up to 1000 workers and ease pressure on the South West housing market. The proposed “Accommodation Village” would be built on a 144ha rural-zoned site on Binningup Road, 30 minutes north of Bunbury and about 90 minutes south of Perth. The company’s Kemerton site director Daniel O’Shea revealed the plans on Friday, outlining how the company had struggled to find accommodation for its 1499 workers due to the region’s housing crisis. Some workers have been able to find private accommodation, but many are living in caravan parks or motels. “Given the lack of accommodation availability, we’re looking at our own solution to accommodate a future workforce and in doing so, lessen the burden on local accommodation,” Mr O’Shea said. The timing and scale of the drive-in, drive-out camp would progress in line with Albemarle’s construction plans. Mr O’Shea hoped construction on the purpose-built village would start by the end of the year. The project is still in the feasibility stages and company representatives held the first community meeting on Sunday as part of their extensive consultation process with the community and the Harvey Shire. “We remain committed to recruiting workers, for construction and operations, from the local area where possible,” Mr O’Shea said. “In fact, more than 83 per cent of the Kemerton Operations team are existing area residents. “Along with significant economic and social investment including contributions to local communities, Albemarle looks forward to a long and sustainable future in the South West region.” Of the current workforce, 433 workers come from the Greater Bunbury area and 301 from the South West. Another 717 are from the WA and 48 from other States. After the company’s first spodumene processing train begins operations, which is expected to ramp up by the end of May, the company expects its first sales from train 1 to begin at the end of 2022. Train 2 commissioning will begin about July with sales from this expected to start in early 2023.