On April 19th local time, the official website of Chilean state-owned company CORFO announced that BYD Chile has been awarded the status of a qualified lithium producer, so that it can obtain preferential prices for battery-grade lithium carbonate quotas.
BYD’s Chile Lithium Cathode Plant project in Antofagasta will receive a supply of 11,244 tons per year from SQM Salar until 2030.
The annual production target of the factory is 50,000 tons of LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate battery) materials, with a minimum investment scale of $290 million. The factory will be put into operation before the end of 2025. During its investment phase, it plans to create 500 job positions.
CORFO stated that BYD Chile is the first company in the country to provide electric buses for urban public transportation, as part of a public policy to promote electric vehicles.
The fleet of electric buses in Chile is the largest in Latin America and represents a milestone in the electrification of zero-emission public transportation using lithium-ion batteries.
In addition, with the continuous rise of lithium carbonate prices, BYD has obtained preferential raw material prices in Chile and is expected to further enhance its competitiveness in the automotive battery industry.