CATL’s $358M Lithium Carbonate Project Cancelled, Kirin Battery to Begin Mass Production End of the Year

On September 5, the lithium carbonate production agreement between power battery giant CATL and Yongxing Materials, a developer of new materials, was cancelled, and the two sides will seek other ways of working together.

CATL responded to the news on September 7, saying: “The company’s lithium clay mineral development progress depends on the mining, rather than lithium carbonate smelting. We have obtained the rights of exploration or mining, and have a number of lithium carbonate smelting partners. The cooperation suspension with Yongxing Materials won’t affect the development progress of lithium.”

Founded in 2000, Yongxing Materials is committed to developing new material and new energy. The company specializes in the research, development and production of high-quality stainless steel rods and wires, special alloy materials and lithium electric materials.

On January 26 this year, Yongxing Materials announced that it had planned to establish a joint venture with CATL to invest in the construction of lithium carbonate projects and carry out work in other fields. The total investment of the planned project would not exceed 2.5 billion yuan ($358 million).

However, Yongxing Materials said on September 5 that the two sides decided to terminate the joint venture agreement due to new developments in the preparation of the project.

CATL continued to rank No. 1 globally with a 33.5 percent share of power battery installations in July at 13.3 GWh, according to data released on September 5 by Seoul-based SNE Research.

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As reported by The Paper on September 7, the Kirin battery developed by CATL will be ready for mass production by the end of this year, instead of 2023 as previously announced. The first batch of batteries will be put into use in the Zeekr 009 series in the first quarter of next year. New models of the AITO brand will also be fully equipped with Kirin batteries.