On Monday, leading Chinese battery firm Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) announced plans to invest a maximum of 13.5 billion ($2.09 billion) in building a new lithium-ion battery plant in the city of Yichun. It is expected to take less than 30 months to complete the construction. The planned area is about 214 acres.
CATL says the investment is consistent with its strategic development plan, aiming at improved production capacity layout and satisfying future business development and market expansion.
Yichun is located in the country’s southeastern Jiangxi Province, and has won the title of “Asia’s lithium capital.” It owns the world’s largest lepidolite mine, whose mining output accounts for more than 70% of the world’s total, and recoverable lithium oxide output represents 31% of China’s and 12% of the world’s. Settling in Yichun will undoubtedly reduce production and transportation costs.
CATL signed an agreement with the Yichun Municipal Government in July this year. The agreement shows that CATL will build a new lithium-ion battery manufacturing base and related upstream material production bases, such as lithium carbonate, in Yichun Economic and Technological Development Zone, as well as other counties and districts. This move will effectively promote upstream and downstream industrial chain enterprises to settle in Yichun.
Zeng Yuqun, chairman of CATL, said at the signing ceremony that the company will deepen pragmatic cooperation with Jiangxi Province across the fields of lithium-ion batteries, optical storage power stations and new energy vehicles.
According to another announcement disclosed by CATL on the same day, the company plans to jointly invest and set up Suzhou Times Xin’an Energy Technology Co., Ltd. in Suzhou, alongside Shanghai Shida Company, Suzhou Xinyue Company and an individual named Jiang Yong. The new company will be engaged in the drive control system of electric vehicles, with registered capital of 2.5 billion yuan. CATL will invest 1.35 billion yuan and hold a 54% equity of the joint venture company. Jiang Yong will serve as the general manager.