Tianqi Lithium-the offer of a deal with the Swedish Northvolt

FILE PHOTO: A charging station for an electric vehicle is on display at the Volkswagen display during the media day at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Tianqi Lithium Corp. (002466.SZ), which is one of the world’s largest lithium producers, said on Tuesday that its Australian unit had signed a long-term contract with a Swedish battery maker, Northvolt.

Tianqi Lithium, Kwinana, who recently completed a treatment plant in Western Australia will take delivery of, a lithium hydroxide, a chemical substance which is being used in the electric vehicle (EV) batteries, Northvolt N by 2020-25, Tianqi had said in a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Northvolt N is the name of the Northvolt’s planned lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in the north of Sweden. What will be Europe’s largest plant is due to begin production in 2021, and the graves of the German car makers Volkswagen VOWG.DE), BMW (BMWG.DE among the investors.

The submission did not provide an absolute tons, the figure for the deal, but said that the volume level on an annual basis, would be no less than 6 to 10% of the Tianqi Kwinana’s annual output.

The deal marks the second major customer win for the Tianqi in a little over a month now. The company announced on Aug. 22 that it had signed up South Korea’s LG Chem (051910.SO on a three-year deal to 2020-22, for not less than 15 per cent of Kwinana’s annual output.

Tianqi Lithium, Kwinana, started with the production of lithium hydroxide of this month, with the first phase to the output at the end of the full figure of 24,000 metric tons per year in the next 12 to 18 months.

The total storage capacity will be doubled to 48,000 tonnes, in a second stage, but the Tianqi on hold until the ramp-up of the first phase has been completed, as lithium prices continue to be depressed.

In the midst of a wave of new inventory, and make adjustments to the EV subsidies in China, and lithium hydroxide prices-AM-LIOH0002-LHM, as judged by the industry information provider of Asian Metal, there is a decrease of 36.8% in the year to 67,000 yuan ($9,428.25 per ton.

Reporting by Tom Daly, and Min Zhang; Editing by David Goodman

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