China-based cathode research and development firm XTC New Energy Materials is planning to invest at least $1.55 billion (CNY10 billion) in a lithium battery materials project in Sichuan province.
The project includes a plant to manufacture 100,000tpa of lithium iron phosphate and 60,000tpa of ternary materials, according to news outlet Reuters.
A letter of intent has been signed by XTC and Yaan Economic and Technological Development Zone in Sichuan, south-west China, according to reports.
The company is principally engaged in the research and development, production and sales of cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries; with its main products being lithium cobalt oxide and nickel-cobalt-manganese ternary materials, including nickel, cobalt and manganese.
The plant is due to be built in stages, with Phase I having 20,000tpa manufacturing capacity for lithium iron phosphate and 20,000tpa for ternary materials.
The lithium iron phosphate component of the project is due to be commissioned in 2023 at an estimated cost of $190 million (CNY1.2 billion),
The ternary materials component is expected to cost $340 million (CNY2.2 billion), and is scheduled for commissioning in 2024.
The project will also include a 10,000tpa nickel and cobalt smelter for battery recycling.
XTC, a unit of metals and rare earths producer Xiamen Tungsten, is due to submit a feasibility study to its board and plans to fund the project from bank loans.