Russia plans to increase lithium production and products
Russia plans to increase the production of lithium and the products over the next several years, according to recent statements of the country’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.
As part of these plans, the local government intends to accelerate the development of some of the country’s largest lithium fields and to expand production of lithium-ion batteries, the demand for which in the country has significantly increased in recent years.
In the case of lithium, the production will be expanded through the implementation of the already existing investment projects and the launch of new ones.
One of such projects has been recently launched by RM Capital Group, which is the Russian industrial conglomerate with a wide range of activities.
The company has recently signed an agreement with the authorities of Krasnokamensk city, (a town in Zabaykalsky Krai near the Chinese-Russian border), on the establishment of a facility for the production of lithium during the period of 2016-2018 years.
The new plant will be launched on the basis of the Zavitinsky REE field, which was a single source for lithium during the Soviet times and which development was suspended during the 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. It is expected that the new complex will use fausted ores and enclosing rocks as raw materials.
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The new project involves the use of technology, that ensures processing of accumulated stockpiles in lithium carbonate with further production of commercially valuable lithium compounds, or lithium itself in its pure form.
At the same time, the new facility will also focus on the production of potash fertilizers.
According to plans of the Russian government, the majority of future lithium production will be used for the needs of the domestic military and nuclear industries, as well as for the production of lithium-ion batteries.
In the case of lithium-ion batteries, in recent years the demand for them in the Russian market has significantly increased, being mostly observed among the country’s leading state companies and corporations, such as RZD, Rosseti, Roscosmos, Rosatom and some others.
However, despite the increase of demand, the current volumes of production of lithium-ion batteries in Russia, to date, have been relatively small. Due to this, the Russian government plans to create conditions for the expansion of production during the next several years, which is expected to take place at the capacities of some of Russia’s leading energy companies.
For this purpose, the government plans to provide grants and other financial support.
To date, some of grant recipients have already been selected. For example, the government has approved the provision of a grant for the design and production of lithium-ion batteries to the Scientific Center of PJSC “Plant of autonomous power sources”, which is an industrial enterprise, specializing on the production of alkaline accumulators.
The new production will be launched in the Saratov region and will have no analogues in Russia. The new lithium-ion batteries will be adapted to Russian climatic conditions and will be able to withstand temperature fluctuations from -40 to +50 degrees.
It is planned that the volume of production at the initial stage will reach 100 MW/h per year, with a possibility of expansion during the next several years.
In addition to , the Russian government is considering providing support to other domestic projects, which involve the production of lithium-ion batteries and which names will be announced later this year.
Eugene Gerden is an international free-lance writer, based in St. Petersburg, who specializes on writing in the field of mining, metals and rare earth metals. ... <Read more about Eugene Gerden>