Creation of the mixed company “YLB – ACISA”, for the industrialization of the lithium in Bolivia

December 12, 2018

The companies “Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos” (YLB) and ACI Systems Gmbh formed the joint venture YLB ACISA - E.M. for the installation, implementation, start-up, operation and administration of industrial plants for the production of Lithium Hydroxide, Cathode Materials and Lithium Ion Batteries, as well as the national and international commercialization of the above mentioned products. ACI Systems was selected as a strategic partner among 8 finalist companies (1 German, 1 Canadian, 5 Chinese and 1 Russian).

The distribution of the new company shares are 51% for “Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos” (YLB) while ACI Systems GmbH holds 49% of the stock.

A total investment of U$1,300 million dollars is expected, also the creation of 500 to 1,000 direct jobs in Bolivia and up to 10,000 indirect jobs that include the areas of transport, logistics and services.

The planned time for the installation of the Lithium Hydroxide plant is 24 months, 18 months will be required for the Cathodic Materials plant and another 18 months for the Battery plant. These plants should be built in parallel in about 3 years; so by the end of 2021 lithium hydroxide and lithium batteries equivalent to 12 Gigawatts-hour (GWh) per year will be exported to the European market, enough to power close to 500,000 electric vehicles.

The production of lithium salts in Bolivia, by 2021, will reach 48,000 tons per year:

18,000 t / a generated by the Lithium Carbonate plant (100% Bolivian).

30,000 t / a generated by the Lithium Hydroxide plant (51% Bolivia, 49% Germany).

With this estimated production, Bolivia will be among the first four countries in the world producing lithium salts and will hold a second place in Latin America.

According to production forecast, with the operation of the 12 GWh plant, Bolivia will be ranked fifth in the world in the production of lithium batteries.

Source: Ministry of Development Planning