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COP28: Nigeria Signs $150m Lithium Deal with Chinese Company

Yemi Olakitan

A partnership that will facilitate the establishment of a lithium-ion battery manufacturing and processing factory in Nigeria has been sealed.
The initiative is backed by a $150m investment from SHEZEN LEMI Technology Development Company of China with operations scheduled to commence in phases, starting from the second quarter of 2024..

The Federal Ministry of Power and the China Ministry of Ecology and Environment, supervised the signing of the agreement for the construction of the $150m lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Nigeria by the Chinese firm.

Parties in the deal signed the agreement in Dubai at the United Nations Climate Conference, also known as COP28, according to a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the Rural Electrification Agency.

The statement read in part, “The Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure are poised to make a significant stride in climate action by signing a groundbreaking cooperation agreement with the SHENZEN LEMI Technology Development Company.

“The agreement was signed on December 8, 2023, under the leadership of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Power and the China Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

“The partnership will facilitate the establishment of a lithium-ion battery manufacturing and processing factory in Nigeria. This initiative is backed by a $150m investment from LEMI, with operations scheduled to commence in phases, starting from the second quarter of 2024.”

The REA stated that the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Power in Nigeria, expressed enthusiasm for being part of the agreement.

“The signing of the cooperation agreement is anticipated to serve as a pioneer initiative for the Light and Belt Initiative in Africa, aligning with global efforts to drive climate technology development and transfer.

“This collaboration will strengthen NASENI’s mandate under the agency’s new leadership to manage the research and development of capital goods, production and reverse engineering to enhance local mass production of standard parts and services for the nation’s technological advancement with a special focus on the Nigerian electricity sector.

“Furthermore, the collaboration underscores REA’s commitment to bridging the climate technology gap and combating the adverse effects of climate change. It also aligns

with Nigeria’s ambitious goals of achieving universal electricity access by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2060,” the agency stated.

It further explained that the partnership would foster the development and transfer of climate technology, promote indigenous industrialisation, facilitate commercialisation, enhance public-private cooperation, and contribute to job creation, economic growth, and the extractive industry in Nigeria.

“Recognising the crucial role of energy storage in the transition to renewable energy sources, the investment in lithium-ion energy storage manufacturing signifies a significant step towards achieving a low-carbon economy,” the REA stated.

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