Under the agreement SQM will supply 55,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate and hydroxide used to make cathodes in lithium-ion batteries from 2021 through 2029. The deal comes as OEMs the world over scramble to secure supply chains further upstream.
It said in November last year its plans to increase carbonate and hydroxide output by the second half of 2021 were on track. SQM plans to increase its production capacity to 180,000t and 30,000t of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, respectively, by 2023.
LGES parent, LG Chem, is an increasingly fully integrated electric vehicle battery supplier for global EV leaders including Tesla and GM. In September it announced a spinout of its battery business LGES to meet growing demand from European carmakers and rising sales of cylindrical batteries used in Tesla vehicles.