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China to help install lithium battery plant in Bolivia

digest Sep 29,2013 0 Comments

LA PAZ — A group of Chinese technicians are expected in Bolivia to help install the country’s first lithium battery plant, said an official.

Construction work on the pilot plant, located in the Uyuni salt field in the southern department of Potosi, will conclude in October, and the assembling phase of the plant will begin in November and end in January 2014, said Luis Alberto Echazu, head of the National Evaporite Resources Management Office.

“We hope to calibrate (the plant) in January and put it into operation surely by April, when we will have the first pilot production samples of batteries,” he said.

Some 2.9 million U.S. dollars have been invested in the plant, whose construction will be carried out by China’s Linyi Gelon New Battery Materials Co., said Echazu.

“We are waiting for the arrival of the Chinese technicians to begin installing the machinery… and later training the Bolivian workers who will be in charge of the plant,” he said.

According to Echazu, the pilot plant’s output is not for sale on the market. Bolivia is looking for a partner for its lithium battery industrialization project, one that can bring not just the technology, but also guarantee the commercialization of a certain percentage of the production. Bolivia and its neighbors Chile and Argentina hold 85 percent of the world’s lithium reserves.

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