Vanadium battery production gets flowing in Townsville
Published Wednesday, 08 March, 2023 at 02:20 PM
Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympic and Paralympic Games Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles
Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart
- Australia’s first commercial-scale vanadium flow battery electrolyte manufacturing facility will be built in Townsville.
- Vecco Group’s Townsville Vanadium Battery Manufacturing Facility will start production later this year.
- When operational, the facility will employ 21 people and produce nine megalitres of electrolyte annually for use in vanadium flow batteries, equating to energy storage capacity of 175MWh annually and growing to 350MWh.
The $26 million Townsville Vanadium Battery Manufacturing Facility will be Australia’s first commercial-scale vanadium flow battery electrolyte manufacturing facility.
Vecco Group’s new facility will produce the electrolyte used in grid-scale vanadium flow batteries - a type of battery leading the energy storage revolution.
The Palaszczuk Government is supporting the construction of the facility through its Industry Partnership Program.
Th project is part of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, which includes creating a North Queensland battery industry supply chain.
The new vanadium battery electrolyte production facility will support the development of Vecco’s Debella Critical Minerals Mine.
It will also lead to downstream manufacturing and creating a new link in the supply chain.
The Townsville Vanadium Battery Manufacturing Facility is expected to begin production later this year.
When operational, it will employ 21 people and produce nine megalitres of electrolyte annually, equating to an energy storage capacity of 175MWh annually with plans to expand to 350MWh.
Vanadium flow batteries are a proven grid-scale energy storage solution with advantages including a long lifespan, lengthy storage capability and are non-flammable.
The Government’s $75 million investment in the Queensland Resources Common User Facility is Australia’s first critical minerals demonstration facility to be built in Townsville.
Vecco plans to produce vanadium and high purity alumina at its Debella Project near Julia Creek will be integrated with the new manufacturing facility.
Until the Debella project comes online, Vecco Group will use imported vanadium to produce high-grade vanadium electrolyte in Townsville.
A Queensland Battery Industry Strategy is currently being developed to grow local industry and supply chains. The ‘Battery industry opportunities for Queensland’ discussion paper open for public consultation until 31 March 2023.
Quotes attributable to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk:
“These batteries will be made in Queensland, right here in Townsville, and will change the game for renewable energy storage.
“A key to my government’s landmark Energy and Jobs Plan is supercharging our SuperGrid with initiatives like this, as we transition to a cleaner, more reliable energy system.
“There’s no better place to launch an Australian first than here in Townsville – the gateway to Queensland’s vast renewable energy zone and North West Minerals Province.”
Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier Steven Miles:
“This is history making. Townsville will be the first place in the country to manufacture large scale vanadium batteries.
“The batteries will be Queensland made and they will form part of a new vanadium supply chain, providing enormous possibilities for North Queensland.
“Vanadium flow batteries provide the grid-scale storage needed so renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, can reliably power Queensland homes, businesses and industries.
“The ability to store and discharge energy on an industrial scale is one of the final pieces in the puzzle for decarbonising the electricity network.”
Quotes attributable to Vecco Group Managing Director Thomas Northcott:
“Thanks to Queensland Government support, Vecco Group is building the vanadium industry which will bring more jobs and investment to North Queensland.
“This manufacturing facility will be a key enabler for vanadium flow batteries in the Queensland grid. We’ll be able to integrate mining and manufacturing and apply our expertise in critical minerals into the downstream supply chain to assist Queensland to achieve its renewable energy target.
“Australia’s demand for medium and deep duration storage by 2050 has been estimated at over 180GWh by the market operator, vanadium flow batteries made right here in Townsville from Queensland’s minerals can help meet this need while creating good jobs in regional areas.
“We look forward to taking advantage of all the opportunities opening up for renewable energy manufacturing now that the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is being delivered.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart:
“There is enormous potential for vanadium mining and production in North Queensland as demand for vanadium batteries continues to rise.
“The Palaszczuk Government is supporting the creation of a whole supply chain in North Queensland.
“The North West Minerals Province has an abundance of critical minerals like vanadium which is needed to produce large scale batteries which are a key part of Queensland’s Energy and Jobs Plan.
“There are huge opportunities to continue creating good jobs in both our resources industry and renewable energy sector through developing critical minerals projects.”
Deputy Premier’s office - Amy Hunter 0423 651 484
Minister Stewart’s office – Chris Lees 0434 859 940
Vecco Group - Thomas Northcott, Managing Director 07 3155 6311