Argentina's state-run Y-TEC YPF plans to install a lithium battery manufacturing plant in the province of Catamarca, according to a deal signed this week between Governor Raúl Jalil and YPF's President Pablo González, it was announced. Also signing the document was Y-TEC (YPF's technological institute) Chief Roberto Salvarezza.
The undertaking will produce cells, lithium-ion batteries, and active materials to add to the current work by the provincial mining company CAMYEN in Fiambalá.
Through CAMYEN and YPF, with the University and the mayors, we must move from salt to batteries, and from there to the change of the electric system. Catamarca accompanies the transformation of the energy matrix with lithium. And this must also serve to change the productive matrix of Catamarca, Jalil said.
Before, there was a policy of emptying YPF. Today we reaffirm that Catamarca has a provincial company that was able to partner with YPF, the governor added about former President Mauricio Macri's policies towards the oil company.
Catamarca is our first exploratory project. We are not only looking at brine and lithium carbonate, but we also have to go along with this electrification process and this energy horizon, Salvarezza said.
We are going to produce 250 tons of LFP, of cathode material, which would allow supplying the whole Argentinean demand. All this with a view to the development of batteries, he added.
As per the new deal, two plants will be built for Catamarca to start developing the active material for the batteries and then start producing cells for stationary energy generation.
In 2021, YPF launched its lithium business unit hand in hand with Y-TEC. Lithium is an alkaline metal that conducts heat and electricity and has the highest energy storage capacity per unit weight. Today Argentina produces and exports lithium carbonate, mainly to China.
With the agreement between Catamarca and Y-TEC, the province will produce LFP (Lithium, Iron, and Phosphate), which is an industrialized product.
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