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Sep 27, 2023 13:05 EEST
September 27 (SeeNews) - Slovak battery manufacturer InoBat said it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Serbia’s finance ministry and the city authorities of Cuprija, in the central part of the country, to build an electric vehicle battery manufacturing and recycling facility.
The plant will assemble energy storage solutions and electric vehicle batteries as well as recycling facilities in line with InoBat’s C2C circular value-chain development platform, the company said in a press release on Monday.
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The project is supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), as the Serbian government will provide an incentives package of 419 million euro ($442.4 million).
One of the reasons why InoBat chose Cuprija as the location of its next plant is the potential for co-developing its own distributed power smart grid and electricity from renewable sources for own consumption, InoBat CEO Marian Bocek was quoted as saying.
In November, InoBat said it will begin in 2025 the construction of a 32 GWh electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility in Serbia.
Serbia has one of the world's biggest deposits of lithium - a critical component for battery production. Its Jadar mine, in the west of the country, would be capable of delivering approximately 55,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate per year.
British-Australian multinational company Rio Tinto planned to complete the construction of an underground mine at the Jadar lithium borate project site in 2026 which would help make the company a top 10 lithium producer. In May 2021, Rio Tinto signed a memorandum of understanding with InoBat, outlining an intention to work together to progress the establishment of a "cradle-to-cradle" electric vehicle battery value chain in Serbia and in November that it year it said it plans to support the construction of an InoBat gigafactory in Serbia.
However, in January 2022 the Serbian government revoked Rio Tinto's licences for Jadar lithium mine project amid a wave of protests by environmentalists across the country.
InoBat established a Serbian subsidiary, InoBat Auto Beograd, in July 2021.
($ = 0.9471 euro)
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