Construction of the Yibin-based project begins in October 2020 with a planned annual capacity of 15 GWh.

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A joint venture between Chinese power battery giant CATL and 's Zeekr has seen significant progress in a power battery project that will provide the latter with a stable future supply of batteries.

The first phase of CATL-Geely's power battery project in Yibin, Sichuan province in southwestern China, went into full production on December 19, according to a CATL press release yesterday.

CATL-Geely was established in April 2019 as a power battery manufacturing and service platform between CATL and , with a 51 percent and 49 percent stake, respectively.

Construction of the project in Yibin begins in October 2020 with a planned annual capacity of 15 GWh and a total investment of no more than RMB 8 billion ($1.15 billion).

The first phase of the project covers an area of about 500 mu (333,333 square meters), with construction completed in 14 months, providing about 2,500 jobs.

Going forward, CATL and Zeekr will leverage their respective strengths in production and manufacturing to jointly address the challenges of the new energy vehicle (NEV) market, according to a press release from the power battery giant.

Zeekr was officially launched as an independent company in March 2021 and currently sells the Zeekr 001, which began deliveries last October, and the Zeekr 009, which will begin deliveries in January 2023.

The company already has a deep relationship with CATL.

CATL unveiled the Qilin Battery, or CTP (cell to pack) 3.0 battery, on June 23, claiming to bring a new level of integration to battery systems.

The Qilin Battery allows volume utilization to exceed 72 percent and energy density to 255Wh/kg, supporting a vehicle range of 1,000km, the company said at the time.

On August 27, CATL and Zeekr announced that the latter will be the first vehicle brand in the world to use Qilin Battery, with the Zeekr 009 MPV being the first vehicle to carry Qilin Battery.

The Zeekr 001 will use an ultra-long-range version of the Qilin Battery and will be the world's first production vehicle to carry the 1,000-kilometer range Qilin Battery, CATL said.

The two companies have signed a five-year strategic partnership agreement, CATL said at the time.

Deliveries of the Zeekr 009 with the Qilin Battery are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2023, while the Zeekr 001 with the battery will be available in the second quarter of 2023, Zeekr said at the time.