China invests in lithium
lithium
China’s Ganfeng Lithium, the world’s biggest lithium company, is to invest $1.3 billion in production of what it describes as “new type” lithium batteries.

   Ganfeng is the biggest supplier of lithium, with customers including electric vehicle maker Tesla. The company also manufactures batteries.


   The company is to spend 5.4 billion yuan to set up an industrial park in southwestern China, including the creation of an innovative battery research institute. Annual battery production capacity will total 10 gigawatt-hours.


   The company did not elaborate on what the “new type” batteries would entail, but pledged to provide technical support for “various solid state batteries” which use solid electrolytes.


  Construction of the project is to get underway in three months and first production is expected within two years.


   Ganfeng LiEnergy is to invest a further 3 billion yuan on a 5 GWh battery plant in Jiangxi province to be put into operation in 2023.


   The Chinese lithium company is clearly planning to expand its battery-making capacity – evidence of its belief in and commitment to growth in production of electric vehicles the world over.


   Its total capacity will amount to 15 GWh, while the biggest battery manufacturer in China, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. can lay claim to capacity totalling 69.1 GWh, with plans for a further 77.5 GWh.


   Ganfeng is actively buying up lithium assets in China and is also involved in projects outside the country. It is considering setting up a battery plant in Argentina. The company’s main assets are located in Argentina, Australia, Ireland and Mexico.


   Lithium is a key part of battery production, including for electric vehicles. It has long been dubbed the “new oil”. China has become the world’s largest producer of lithium and demand is constantly on the rise.


   China controls 80 % of global production capacity for lithium-ion batteries. But both Europe and the United States are expected to increase their share of lithium production.


   Roskill supply chain intelligence experts forecasts that by 2030, more than 58 % of world capacity will be concentrated in China. Analysts believe that the 10 leading companies will occupy nearly 60 % of the world market for lithium-ion batteries  for electric vehicles over the next decade.

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