Chinese copper processor Zhejiang Hailiang has announced plans to build a new $288m plant in Morocco.

The new facility, revealed in a filing, will produce new energy materials – those that are used for the generation, storage, transmission and conversion of energy. Among those that the plant will manufacture is lithium-battery foil, which is widely used in consumer electronics.

The plant is intended to help the company better serve customers in Europe, America, the Middle East and Africa amid what it has termed the “unpredictable” international situation of recent years and geopolitics that have “brought huge trade obstacles and supply chain risks.”

Hailiang also hopes the plant will help it cultivate regional markets and, in doing so, implement its company development plan, building market share.

Construction is expected to take 36 months and, once operational, the plant is expected to have the annual capacity to produce 50,000 tons of alloy, 35,000 tons of pipe, 40,000 tons of rod and 25,000 tons of foil. It will also have R&D and warehousing facilities.

In addition to Morocco’s strategic location, backed by free trade agreements with key Western countries such as the US, the European Union and Turkey, the country is seen as an advantageous for its status as a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank, as well as its international currency; for the tax incentives of the Tangier Science and Technology City site (itself under construction); for Africa’s abundance of raw materials; for its strong transportation and logistics links; and for the investment policy support available.

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Founded in 2001, Zhejiang Hailiang has 22 plants worldwide, including in the United States, Germany, Vietnam, Indonesia, and several other countries in Europe and Southeast Asia.