East China to get first lithium high-tech zone

As technology advances, electric vehicles will definitely predominate the automotive market in the future. Li-ion battery, as the core component of electric car, will see a huge market potential.

The base would cover 20 square km and its output value is expected to reach 100 billion yuan (14.7 billion U.S.dollars) by 2020, said Luo Zhiyong, director of the Lithium-New Energy Development Bureau in Yichun.

The area is designed to be a economic service zone for manufacturing and recycling of lithium batteries and research, Luo said.

The base had attracted 26 projects and almost 30.6 billion yuan of investment since January, he said. An industrial chain is expected to be built and the zone is expected to become a new energy automobile manufacturing base, he said.

Yichun has the world’s largest lithium mine with a proved capacity of 1.1 million tonnes, accounting for 31 percent of China’s total and 12 percent of the world’s reserves.

The advantages of Li-ion battery industry in China can be shown from three aspects: firstly, the low manufacturing cost. China boasts of ample cost-efficient labor resources, which makes it possible to employ manual semi-automatic production line to lower the cost.

Chinese Li-ion manufacturers have made breakthroughs in technology and forced Li-ion battery price in global market to plummet in recent years; secondly, China is the world’s largest consumer country; thirdly, China has developed a relatively complete Li-ion battery industry chain, keeping ahead in assembling Li-ion battery materials.

Li-ion battery in China keeps growing year by year. In 2009, Li-ion battery output reached 1.875 billion units, up 82% from a year earlier.

BYD, the largest Li-ion battery producer in China, carries two businesses- automobile and IT spare parts of which the latter is mainly composed of secondary rechargeable battery business and cell phone components & assembly service.

Since 2009, automobile has become the prime business of BYD, and the battery for electric vehicle can be fully self-sufficient. Until now, BYD is the only domestic enterprise to possess the mass-production technology of LiFePO4 battery pack for electric cars, holding the leading position worldwide.

As the major supplier of separators for BYD lithium battery, Foshan Plastics Group is expected to embrace its high growth period.

In addition, China BaoAn Group is the largest producer of anode materials in China, while Ningbo Shanshan Co., Ltd is China’s leading supplier of cathode materials. In cooperation with TODA KOGYO Corp., Ningbo Shanshan Co., Ltd has developed an advantage in technology to produce anode material, and gained cost advantage by teaming up with Heron.