China to help Bolivia set up lithium battery plant

La Paz, Sep 11 (IANS) A group of Chinese technicians will help Bolivia set up the country's first lithium battery plant, an official said.

Construction work on the pilot plant, located in the southern region of Potosi, will conclude in October, Xinhua reported.

The assembling phase will begin in November and end in January 2014, said Luis Alberto Echazu, head of the National Evaporite Resources Management Office.

"We hope to calibrate the plant in January and put it into operation by April, when we will have the first pilot production samples of batteries," he said.

Around $2.9 million have been invested in the plant, whose construction will be carried out by China's Linyi Gelon New Battery Materials Co.

Bolivia and its neighbours Chile and Argentina hold 85 percent of the world's lithium reserves.

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