Battery Megafactory Forecast
The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.
When ground broke on the massive Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada in 2014, the world marveled at the project’s audacity, size, and scope.
At the time, it was touted that the cutting-edge facility would be the largest building in the world by footprint, and that the Gigafactory would single-handedly be capable of doubling the world’s lithium-ion battery production capacity.
What many did not realize, however, is that although as ambitious and as forward-looking as the project sounded, the Gigafactory was just the start of a trend towards scale in the battery making space. While Tesla’s facility was the most publicized, it would ultimately be one of many massive factories in the global pipeline.
Today’s data comes to us from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, and it forecasts that we will see a 399% increase in lithium-ion battery production capacity over the next decade – enough to pass the impressive 1 TWh milestone.
Here is a more detailed projection of how things will shape up in the coming decade:
|Region||Capacity (GWh, 2018)||Capacity (GWh, 2023)||Capacity (GWh, 2028)|
|Asia (excl China)||45.5||78.5||111.5|
In just a decade, lithium-ion battery megafactories around the world will have a combined production capacity equivalent to 22 Tesla Gigafactories!
The majority of this capacity will be located in China, which is projected to have 57% of the global total.
The Top Plants Globally
According to Benchmark, the top 10 megafactories will be combining for 299 GWh of capacity in 2023, which will be equal to almost half of the global production total.
Here are the top 10 plants, sorted by projected capacity:
|Rank||Megafactory||Owner||Country||Forecasted capacity by 2023 (GWh)|
|#1||CATL||Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd||China||50|
|#2||Tesla Gigafactory 1||Tesla Inc / Panasonic Corp (25%)||US||50|
|#3||Nanjing LG Chem New Energy Battery Co., Ltd.||LG Chem||China||35|
|#4||Nanjing LG Chem New Energy Battery Co., Ltd. Plant 2||LG Chem||China||28|
|#5||Samsung SDI Xian||Samsung SDI||China||25|
|#6||Funeng Technology||Funeng Technology (Ganzhou)||China||25|
|#7||BYD , Qinghai||BYD Co Ltd||China||24|
|#8||LG Chem Wroclaw Energy Sp. z o.o.||LG Chem||Poland||22|
|#9||Samsung SDI Korea||Samsung SDI||Korea||20|
|#10||Lishen||TianJin Lishen Battery Joint-Stock CO.,LTD||China||20|
Of the top 10 megafactory plants in 2023, the majority will be located in China – meanwhile, the U.S. (Tesla Gigafactory), South Korea (Samsung), and Poland (LG Chem) will be home to the rest.
Reaching economies of scale in lithium-ion battery production will be a significant step in decreasing the overall cost of electric vehicles, which are expected to surpass traditional vehicles in market share by 2038.
Ranked: The World’s Top Diamond Mining Countries, by Carats and Value
Who are the leaders in rough diamond production and how much is their diamond output worth?
Ranked: World Diamond Mining By Country, Carat, and Value
Only 22 countries in the world engage in rough diamond production—also known as uncut, raw or natural diamonds—mining for them from deposits within their territories.
This chart, by Sam Parker illustrates the leaders in rough diamond production by weight and value. It uses data from Kimberly Process (an international certification organization) along with estimates by Dr. Ashok Damarupurshad, a precious metals and diamond specialist in South Africa.
Rough Diamond Production, By Weight
Russia takes the top spot as the world’s largest rough diamond producer, mining close to 42 million carats in 2022, well ahead of its peers.
Russia’s large lead over second-place Botswana (24.8 million carats) and third-ranked Canada (16.2 million carats) indicates that the country’s diamond production is circumventing sanctions due to the difficulties in tracing a diamond’s origin.
Here’s a quick breakdown of rough diamond production in the world.
|5||🇿🇦 South Africa||9,660,233|
|10||🇸🇱 Sierra Leone||688,970|
|18||🇨🇮 Cote D'Ivoire||3,904|
|19||🇨🇬 Republic of Congo||3,534|
Note: South Africa’s figures are estimated.
As with most other resources, (oil, gold, uranium), rough diamond production is distributed unequally. The top 10 rough diamond producing countries by weight account for 99.2% of all rough diamonds mined in 2022.
Diamond Mining, by Country
However, higher carat mined doesn’t necessarily mean better value for the diamond. Other factors like the cut, color, and clarity also influence a diamond’s value.
Here’s a quick breakdown of diamond production by value (USD) in 2022.
|5||🇿🇦 South Africa||$1,538M|
|9||🇸🇱 Sierra Leone||$143M|
|19||🇨🇬 Republic of Congo||$0.20M|
|20||🇨🇮 Cote D'Ivoire||$0.16M|
Note: South Africa’s figures are estimated. Furthermore, numbers have been rounded and may not sum to the total.
Thus, even though Botswana only produced 59% of Russia’s diamond weight in 2022, it had a trade value of nearly $5 billion, approximately 1.5 times higher than Russia’s for the same year.
Another example is Angola, which is ranked 6th in diamond production, but 3rd in diamond value.
Both countries (as well as South Africa, Canada, and Namibia) produce gem-quality rough diamonds versus countries like Russia and the DRC whose diamonds are produced mainly for industrial use.
Which Regions Produce the Most Diamonds in 2022?
Unsurprisingly, Africa is the largest rough diamond producing region, accounting for 51% of output by weight, and 66% by value.
|Rank||Region||Share of Rough|
Diamond Production (%)
|Share of Rough
Diamond Value (%)
However diamond mining in Africa is a relatively recent phenomenon, fewer than 200 years old. Diamonds had been discovered—and prized—as far back as 2,000 years ago in India, later on spreading west to Egyptian pharaohs and the Roman Empire.
By the start of the 20th century, diamond production on a large scale took off: first in South Africa, and decades later in other African countries. In fact between 1889–1959, Africa produced 98% of the world’s diamonds.
And in the latter half of the 20th century, the term blood diamond evolved from diamonds mined in African conflict zones used to finance insurgency or crime.
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