Portugal is set to offer licences for the exploration of lithium in the country in a bid to grab a share of the lucrative battery materials supply market for electric vehicles.
South Korean Posco is to build a lithium carbonate plant at the Cauchari salt lake in Argentina and to install its lithium extraction technology.
The lithium plant is set to start operations in December this year. The facility is aimed to have an annual production capacity of 200 tonnes.
The Brazilian electricity grid has been named as the reason for high genset sales for prime and standby power in the country. The country’s electricity generation network includes a high share of hydropower, which can be unreliable during droughts. This has caused high usage of gensets for critical applications including data centres, healthcare and financial services.
According to figures from Frost & Sullivan’s ‘Analysis of the Brazilian Genset Market’ paper, the genset market will be worth US$1472m in 2017.
As the country’s economy continues to grow, power demands from the oil and gas, construction, manufacturing and entertainment industries are outstripping electricity supply, and in turn boosting genset sales.
Gustavo Stainoh, Frost & Sullivan energy and power research analyst said: "The need to handle blackouts spurs the uptake of gensets. During peak hours, however, companies find it more feasible to get electricity from the grid due to the recent reduction in industrial electricity tariffs."
The paper says cheaper products from Asian manufacturers has affected market profits and a lack of regulation and certification of equipment makes a challenging environment for manufacturers.
Johnson Controls has acquired a 90% share of Colombian battery supplier MAC. JCI has been working with MAC since 2011 when they began a joint venture to produce and sell lead-acid batteries for the Central and South American markets.
Details of the financial terms have not been disclosed but will further strengthen JCI’s position in the continent.