The India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) announced that India and Bolivia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development and industrial use of lithium for the production of lithium-ion batteries. As part of the MoU, Bolivia will support supplies of lithium and lithium carbonate to India, as well as joint ventures between the two countries for lithium battery production plants in India.
A statement, issued during the recent Bolivia visit of India’s President Ram Nath Kovind, said: “Both the countries agreed to forge mutually beneficial partnership to facilitate Bolivian supplies of lithium carbonate to India and foster joint ventures for lithium battery/cell production plants in India.” The two countries have also agreed to facilitate mechanisms for the commercialization of lithium carbonate and potassium chloride produced in Bolivia by Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos Corporación (YLB – Corporación), the statement added.
With the MoU, the possibility of Indian companies setting up production capabilities in Bolivia goes up, as well as the import of lithium to India. Domestic production is also set to see a boost, from the automotive perspective. The arrival of hybrids and electric vehicles from as early as 2020 onwards, will force manufacturers to look at local production. Apart from Electric Vehicles, Renewable Integration, Grid Stability and behind the meter applications will boost Li-Ion battery adoption in India. India is expected to attract over $3billion in investments in the next 3-5 years for li-ion batteries and also witnessing additional investment for its ecosystem.
The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind who was in Bolivia in March this year met with his counterpart Mr. Evo Morales Ayma and during the one-to-one discussions with him, the President said that he was honored to pay the first-ever State Visit from India to Bolivia. He thanked President Morales for special welcome and affection.
Subsequently, the President led delegation-level talks between the two sides. Speaking on the occasion, he said that it is encouraging to see that India-Bolivia bilateral trade has picked up in the last two years and it stood at US$ 875 million in 2018. About 60% of Bolivian gold is exported to India. Bolivia is the 8th leading trading partner of India in the Latin America region. He emphasized that there is a need to diversify our trade basket to further strengthen the bilateral trade.
In the final engagement of the day (March 29, 2019), the President addressed the India-Bolivia Business Forum. The President said that India has a focused business approach to the Latin American region. We hold the India-Latin America and Caribbean Conclaves annually to deepen our business collaborations. These Conclaves have served us well. Several Indian global majors have made entry into Bolivia through them, bringing cutting-edge technology, products, and services to the people. He noted that there are immense opportunities for collaboration between India and Bolivia in various fields such as automobiles, healthcare, IT, renewable energy, Lithium, agriculture, space, developing modern infrastructure- from railways, highways, waterways, airways to energy pathways.
In his address, the President said, “We are committed to transformational economic growth in India. But we want to be respectful of Mother Earth, of nature, in the same manner, and with same devotion as you have done. We want our progress to be propelled by clean technology and sustainable practices. We want growth and environment protection to go hand in hand. We have established the International Solar Alliance to develop clean pathways and to tackle climate change. We welcome Bolivia in the Alliance and look forward to creating a greener planet with its support and ideas. As part of this commitment, we have a target to produce 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022, including 100 gigawatts of solar energy. We are developing our capacity and at the same time making available our services to fellow countries to tap renewable energy. We see opportunities for tie-ups with Bolivia in solar, wind and biofuel segments. Talking of environment and sustainability, we have an ambitious program to develop electric vehicles in India. And for this, we want to enter into long-term Lithium partnership with Bolivia. Indian enterprises are keen to mark their presence here as investment and technology partners – to develop lithium products and to master storage technology. We look forward to such promising ventures taking wings. India has gained vast expertise in developing modern infrastructure – from railways, highways, waterways, airways to energy pathways. This can also be a potential area for collaboration between our two countries.”