Eye on Lithium: Experts tip Hungary as Europe’s next major battery producer
All your lithium news, Wednesday December 28.
With tier 1 battery producers like CATL and SK Innovation (SKI) ramping up expansions plans in Hungary to meet demand from Europe’s automakers, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (BMI) says it is set to emerge as the leading battery producer in Europe this decade.
According to Benchmark’s Gigafactory Assessment, the country’s battery capacity pipeline is set to grow sevenfold to reach 207 gigawatt hours (GWh) by the end of 2031, from 27.5 GWh in 2021.
“Over 75 GWh, or 86%, of this capacity is set to come from tier 1 battery producers, more than any other country in Europe,” the research firm says.
Tier-1 producers are those qualified to supply more than one multinational electric vehicle producer outside of China and have more than 10 GWh of annual production capacity.
“Hungary offers a source of cheaper labour and land cost when compared with Western Europe,” BMI analyst Evan Hartley says.
“Eastern European cell capacity is also likely to get a further boost as cost is one of the key reasons for many Asian suppliers when deciding where to base operations.”
CATL, the world’s largest battery maker, is pouring $7.5bn into the construction of 100GWh battery plant in the country to supply its European customers including Mercedes-Benz and BMW while South Korea’s SK Innovation spends $3bn building a 30GWh battery plant.
Samsung SDI is also spending nearly a billion dollars to expand battery production to 30GWh by 2026 at Göd, Hungary, near Budapest.
Twas a post-Christmas stock market slump as the ASX closed 0.4% lower.
In the land of lithium, only 25 companies finished in the green while another 61 slipped into a sea of red.
SGQ is the only company with lithium news today.
It updated the market with an expanded cautionary statement regarding the significance of visual estimates of pegmatites intersected in drilling on December 21.
“While the company is very encouraged by the geology identified in the completed drill holes, no qualitative or quantitative assessment of mineralisation within intersected pegmatites is possible at this stage,” the company stated in an ASX announced on Wednesday.
“Geological logging is based on visual interpretations and should not be considered a substitute for laboratory analysis.
“The visual observation of lithium‐bearing minerals within pegmatites does not necessarily equate to lithium mineralisation, and laboratory assays are required to confirm the presence and grade of any contained lithium.
“Given the nature of lithium mineralisation, it is not possible to estimate by visual assessment the abundance of any lithium within the pegmatites intersected by the completed drilling.”
Laboratory assays are required to determine the concentration of lithium mineralisation within the reported pegmatite intersections, the company adds.