Lithium carbonate project starts operation in Xinjiang, to boost output of NEV batteries
Published: Jul 02, 2023 07:51 PM
Workers assemble lithium batteries for NEV in Huaibei, East China's Anhui Province. Photo: VCG

Workers assemble lithium batteries for NEV in Huaibei, East China's Anhui Province. Photo: VCG

The first phase of the largest domestic single-unit lithium carbonate project, a key raw material of lithium-ion batteries, was put into operation on Sunday in Northwest China's Xinjiang, which will boost the development of new-energy battery industry chain in the region.

The project is divided into two phases, with a total investment of 4.6 billion yuan ($635 million). It started construction in an industrial park in Xinjiang's Ruoqiang county in September 2022, the China Media Group (CMG) reported on Sunday, citing Xinjiang's top economic planner.

After the completion of the second phase of the project, it will reach an annual output of more than 120,000 tons of lithium carbonate, and can achieve sales revenue of more than 30 billion yuan annually, while creating more than 1,500 jobs in the region.

There are abundant lithium resources in Ruoqiang county, with a potential deposit of 1.2 million tons. Adopting the most advanced roasting process and one-step lithium extraction technology, which ensures the quality of high-purity lithium carbonate, the project will convert local resources into economic benefit and industrial advantage.

The technologies will also help reduce production costs by 20 percent, significantly improving project efficiency, CMG reported.

Lithium carbonate is a key raw material needed for the production of lithium-ion battery cathode materials, which is widely used in power batteries and energy storage industries. The production of lithium carbonate is crucial to the development of new-energy vehicles (NEVs).

From January to May, China's output of electric batteries totaled 233.5 gigawatt-hours, up 34.7 percent year-on-year. During the period, the cumulative exports of batteries reached 45.9 gigawatt-hours, according to statistics from the China Automotive Power Battery Industry Innovation Alliance.

Correspondingly, the production and exports of NEVs also soared this year. By the end of May, China produced a total of 3.005 million NEVs, up 45.1 percent, and exported 457,000 units, an increase of 160 percent year-on-year, according to statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

As the core component of NEVs, China's electric batteries production and new technology applications continue to make breakthroughs. The country has formed a global industrial chain and the largest electric battery industrial system, including material research and development, battery production and recycling to equipment support, industry insiders said at the 2023 New-Energy Vehicle Parts Forum and Power Battery Investment Conference held in April.

Global Times