(Reuters) – Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc <BRKa.N> has signed an agreement to allow extraction of lithium from its geothermal wells in California, a project that could offer U.S. carmakers and battery producers a secure supply of the metal, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
The venture has been in talks to supply Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> with lithium, a component for batteries to power electric cars, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the company.
Berkshire Hathaway’s geothermal wells could produce up to 90,000 tonnes of lithium a year worth $1.5 billion at current prices, the report said, citing a fundraising document.
“We see a lot of interest in getting North American supply as automakers start to get further into electric vehicles,” the FT quoted Eric Besseling, a vice president at BHE Renewables, as saying.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co and Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside normal business hours.
(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)