BYD's project in Chile is designed to produce 50,000 tons of lithium iron phosphate cathode material per year, with an estimated investment of at least $290 million.
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BYD received preferential prices for lithium carbonate in Chile, where it was awarded a lithium mining contract a year ago in the lithium-rich country.
After an evaluation process that began in November 2022, the Production Development Corporation, Corfo, assigned the status of specialized lithium producer to BYD Chile SpA, the Chilean development agency announced Wednesday.
As a result, BYD Chile SpA will access the preferential price for one of the lithium carbonate quotas available in the corresponding call base, up to 11,244 tons/year of battery grade lithium carbonate (Li2CO3), and a supply contract by SQM Salar SA until the year 2030, for its project BYD Chile Lithium Cathode Plant that will be installed in the Antofagasta Region, according to a statement.
The project is designed to produce 50,000 tons per year of lithium iron phosphate cathode material (LiFePO4) in Chile, using lithium carbonate as a raw material, with an expected investment of at least $290 million.
The project is expected to come into operation in late 2025, and during its investment phase it plans to create 500 jobs, the statement said.
On August 31, 2022, Corfo opened a call for companies to present proposals for the materialization of investment projects that allow the preparation and execution in Chile of lithium value-added products.
On November 7, 2022, the first application entered the call through the permanent application model and was declared admissible on November 22 and began to be evaluated according to the different dimensions and factors described in the basis of the call, the statement said.
This follows the award of one of the five lithium mining contracts to BYD Chile SpA in January last year.
BYD, China's largest maker of new energy vehicles (NEVs), is also one of the largest manufacturers of power batteries.
BYD's power battery installed base in China in March was 7.40 GWh, ranking second with a 26.65 percent share, according to data released earlier this month by the China Automotive Battery Innovation Alliance (CABIA).
CATL's power battery installed base in March was 12.49 GWh, continuing to rank first with a 44.95 percent share.
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