On April 24, BYD announced that its Chilean subsidiary, BYD Chile SpA, has reached an agreement with Chilean governmental organization CORFO on lithium battery material production. The latter granted BYD Chile SpA the status of a qualified lithium producer. Before 2030, BYD will receive approximately 12,500 tons of battery-grade lithium carbonate supply quota at a preferential price each year.
BYD will invest in the “BYD Chile Lithium Cathode Plant” project in Antofagasta, Chile with an annual planned capacity of 50,000 tons and a total investment of at least $290 million. The plant is expected to be put into operation before the end of 2025.
In addition to enjoying discounts on procurement prices by obtaining a qualified license for lithium production in Chile, BYD can also meet the restrictions on key mineral sources for batteries under the US Inflation Reduction Act because Chile meets these conditions and has free trade agreements with the United States.
According to a report by Chinese media Ofweek, last December, Stella Li, Executive Vice President of BYD revealed during an interview that the firm was negotiating a mining project in Chile and applying for permission to process lithium into battery cathodes.
Four months since then, BYD’s lithium processing project in Chile has officially entered the implementation phase.
Stella Li also said: “We are seeking global opportunities to expand our reserves. Our focus is on countries such as those in Africa, Chile, and Argentina that possess significant resources. By participating in these regions, we aim to secure additional resources for future use.”