The Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, announced that Mexico would start the production of lithium batteries in 4Q23, made possible by investment from the country's trade partners and Mexico's recently announced Sonora Plan.
During the IX Pacific Alliance Business Summit, Ebrard announced that Mexico is prepared to receive lithium-related investments. To date, the country has agreed on funding coming from South Korea, China and the US, the latter as part of an agreement to produce lithium batteries in Sonora.
Ebrard did not discuss the exact amount of the coming investments, arguing that this is confidential information from private companies. However, he elaborated that those investments will materialize between 3Q23 and 4Q23.
Mexico’s Minister of Economy, Raquel Buenrostro, said that the investments are welcome and will be tracked by the federal government to ensure they are fruitful. "We care about the prosperity of companies that come to the [Pacific Alliance] countries. We are willing to talk about your interests and our objectives," Buenrostro added.
Last week, President López Obrador announced the first stage of the Sonora Plan, which will include infrastructure, clean energy and mining projects with an investment of over US$2.5 million coming from Canada and the US.
According to the federal government, the Sonora Plan will consist of the construction of five solar plants with associated transmission lines, the modernization of the Guaymas port, as well as airports and highways. The plan also includes the concession of infrastructure to exploit lithium to US and Canadian companies.
Ebrard said that Mexico had already presented the Sonora Plan during the UN’s climate change conference COP 27 held in Egypt. “Mexico, backed by the US, is committed to investing US$48 billion to accelerate the [production] of clean energy and accelerate electromobility,” Ebrard added.
Since the federal government announced its intention to make Sonora a clean energy hub, the state’s government has actively worked to attract investment. After negotiations with the federal government, Sonora’s Governor Alfonso Durazo managed to relocate Litio Para México’s (LitioMx) offices to Sonora since it has the largest lithium deposit in the country.
Additionally, on Nov. 4, 2022, Sonora’s Minister of Economy, Armando Villa announced that the local government could relocate a lithium battery assembling plant that was meant to be constructed in Hidalgo. According to Villa, the factory will require an investment of over US$80 million and will be managed by a Mexican company called Luna as reported by MBN.