The Chinese giant was the first company selected after an evaluation process that began in November last year.
Following an evaluation process that began in November last year, the Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO) has selected the Chinese giant BYD Chile as specialized lithium producer.
The electric car company will thus be able to access the preferential price established for one of the lithium carbonate quotas available in the bases of the corresponding call for applications for up to 11,244 tons per year of battery grade lithium carbonate (Li2CO3). They will also be awarded a supply contract by SQM Salar S.A. until 2030 for their “BYD Chile Lithium Cathode Plant” project, which will be installed in the Antofagasta Region.
The project has been designed to produce 50,000 tons of LFP-type cathode material (LiFePO4) per year in Chile, using lithium carbonate as an input, with estimated investments of a minimum US$290 million. The initiative is expected to come into operation by late 2025.
In its investment phase, the project plans to generate 500 jobs. When it is operational, it will commit to a technological training plan for permanent local workers, as well as cooperation in technology transfer with the research and development (R+D) ecosystem in Chile.
“With this first initiative, we hope to give a strong boost to promote the generation of products in the lithium value chain, to encourage investment and to contribute to productive sophistication and the generation of quality employment,” said the executive vice president of CORFO, José Miguel Benavente.
“CORFO wants these types of projects to strengthen the links and cooperation mechanisms to generate capacities with Chilean technicians, professionals and researchers, and thus stimulate training and technological development in this field that is so important for Chile,” Benavente added.
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