Sunday, May 28, 2023

EU moves forward in agreements with Argentina and Chile to supply lithium

The European Union (EU) is working on advancing agreements with Argentina and Chile to ensure access to strategic minerals and metals, especially lithium, needed for electric vehicle batteries and the countries’ energy transition. These agreements are part of the EU’s efforts to develop a less carbon-intensive economy, which is already reflected in established projects with Canada, Ukraine, Namibia and Kazakhstan, and also in negotiations with Norway and Greenland.

In this sense, preliminary MoUs could be signed in the next four months, according to the European Commission, and possible partnerships are also being explored in South America and other regions. The EU wants to guarantee access to resources vital to its energy and digital transition, thereby reducing dependence on a limited number of suppliers, among which China stands out.

This strategic partnership will allow both sides to develop joint investment projects in sustainable and resilient commodity value chains, while strengthening cooperation in research and innovation. A spokesman for Argentina’s energy ministry said the Argentine government is working on a memorandum with the European Union to develop metals exploration and processing industries in a sustainable manner, covering 42 raw materials.

Lithium demand is expected to grow 12-fold by 2030 and 20-fold by 2050, along with an EU ban on the sale of new CO2-emitting vehicles by 2035, thus boosting vehicle adoption. In this scenario, both Chile and Argentina become major players as suppliers of this mineral. Likewise, it is expected that a preliminary agreement will be reached between the EU and Argentina before the presidential election in October, although it is not yet clear which lithium policy the next Argentine government will implement.

On the other hand, Chile, as the second largest supplier of lithium in the world after Australia, is seeking a special status that allows it to benefit from the US Emissions Reduction Act, which allows US automakers to use their lithium. will allow. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Chilean President Gabriel Boric in the Chilean city of Santiago earlier this year in an effort to secure additional lithium supplies.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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