Guizhou gathers energy for battery edge
Guizhou, a Southwest China province with abundant phosphate and manganese ore resources, is stepping up efforts in its lithium battery industry, marking another foray into the new energy sector.
Guizhou issued a number of measures in June to further accelerate the construction of major projects and expand effective investment to boost a slew of industries, with a focus on emerging industries such as new energy vehicles, NEV batteries and battery materials.
It followed a statement of guidance by the provincial government last year, in which Guizhou vowed to become an important research, development and production base for lithium battery materials by 2025, with a total output value of more than 100 billion yuan ($14.19 billion).
In the first three quarters, the province's investment in lithiumion battery manufacturing increased 130.3 percent year-on-year. The local government said the industry is showing strong momentum in the development.
According to the local government, Guizhou has abundant phosphate and manganese ore resources — two key elements in lithium battery manufacturing — which provide a good foundation for the province to develop the industry. Phosphate ore reserves in Kaiyang county, Fuquan city and Weng'an county amount to nearly 10 billion metric tons, and the mining volume of the metal reached close to 40 million tons per year. Tongren also reported 708 million tons of manganese ore reserves, ranking tops in Asia.
The abundant resources and supportive policies have attracted companies to start branches in the province. At present, one of Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd's 10 major battery manufacturing bases is located in Gui'an New Area of Guiyang, capital of Guizhou. With a total land area of about 95.67 hectares and an annual output of 60 gigawatt-hours, the battery manufacturing project is expected to finish in 2025.
Pan Chenguang, a manager at the production base, said CATL will also build a low-carbon industrial chain system in Guiyang covering upstream phosphate ore mining, battery material production, lithium battery manufacturing, and downstream battery application and recycling.
Referring to why CATL chose Guizhou to build the production base, Pan said the local government has stepped up efforts in developing emerging industries like NEVs and offered supportive policies. In addition, Guizhou has the resources to build complete industrial chains, which creates a good environment for the company's development.
CNGR Advanced Materials Co Ltd (CNGR), located in the Dalong Economic and Technological Development Zone, Tongren, is also a company that benefits from Guizhou's development of the NEV battery industrial chain.
Founded in Dalong in 2004, the company's major businesses are research and development, production and sales of the materials used in lithium batteries. Its battery material products are used in many Fortune Global 500 companies including CATL and Tesla. It is also the second-listed company in Guizhou with a market value exceeding 100 billion yuan after Kweichow Moutai Group.
Dong Xiongwen, assistant to the chairman at CNGR, said, "Dalong's advantages in location, natural resources and the development of relevant industries are important reasons why the company chose the zone."
Zhang Chaohua, general manager at a CNGR production base, said, "Thanks to Guizhou's development of NEV industrial clusters and policy support, the company has broad prospects for advancement."
Zhang said the company's orders for the second half of this year have been fully booked, and all production lines are running at maximum capacity. Zhang said the company's production capacity reached 200,000 tons at the end of last year and will reach 350,000 tons by the end of 2022.