How Congo could become low-cost, low-emissions producer of battery materials – report – by Staff ( – November 25, 2021)

In a report launched at the DRC-Africa Business Forum 2021 taking place this week in Kinshasa, BloombergNEF (BNEF) states that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) could leverage its abundant cobalt resources and hydroelectric power to become a low-cost and low-emissions producer of lithium-ion battery cathode precursor materials.

The research paper estimates that it would cost $39 million to build a 10,000 metric-tonne cathode precursor plant in the DRC. This is three times cheaper than what a similar plant in the US would cost, whereas if it were to be built in China or Poland, it would cost $112 million and $65 million, respectively.

The market analyst’s data also show that emissions associated with battery production could be cut by 30% compared with the existing supply chain that runs through China, if cathode precursor materials – the intermediate material between raw and finished cathode material – were produced in the DRC, with Poland handling the production of cathode materials and cells, and Germany the final pack assembly.

This is due to the DRC’s proximity to cathode raw materials and heavy reliance on hydroelectric power plants.

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