The companies signed a preliminary agreement, under which, GSR Capital will invest US$4.5bn to set up a 50-50 joint venture to build a plant that could produce up to 25MW of batteries for use in automotive and in energy storage applications. The agreement also provides for GSR Capital to take a 50% stake in Zorlu-owned Meta Nikel.
Investment in the battery plant should start this year and the facility could be ready within 5 years, Zorlu said. This will enable the company to take the intermediate mixed hydroxide precipitate currently produced by Meta Nikel and turn it into battery-grade material, rather than exporting it as it currently does.
With GSR taking a 50% stake in Meta Nikel, the company will be able to boost capacity from the current 10,000tpy to 40,000tpy. Meta Nikel will also add nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate production facilities as well as a sulphuric acid plant. Meta Nikel currently imports the sulphuric acid used in its MHP production process.
Roskill view: This announcement unveils yet another investment in the production of battery-grade nickel and cobalt. Such materials will become increasingly necessary to meet demand from the projected growth of electric vehicles. An increased reliance on renewable energy will also require battery-based energy storage systems.