Premier promises study backing for $2b lithium gigafactory

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Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has promised to invest in research for a $2 billion lithium battery manufacturing plant in Townsville, which could support 7,000 jobs.

If re-elected, the state government said it will put forward $3.1 million from its Jobs and Regional Growth Fund towards a feasibility study carried out by Magnis Resources for the proposed gigafactory.

“Townsville is already an industrial powerhouse and increasingly it is playing a centre role in the huge growth of our renewable energy sector,” Palaszczuk said.

“The ability for homes, vehicles and businesses to store renewable energy and use it when needed is the next big step.”

Palaszczuk’s announcements follows a meeting earlier this year with Townsville mayor Jenny Hill, as well as representatives from Boston Energy and Innovation (BEI) and Magnis Resources.

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BEI aims to build a 15 GW-hour battery factory that can produce annually:

  • Up to 250,000 electric vehicle batteries with a range of up to 400km;
  • One million home battery units designed to store solar power;
  • 300 ‘Microgrid’ batteries capable of powering entire remote communities.

The company estimates that, at full capacity, the project would provide up to 1,000 jobs in the factory itself, another 1,000 jobs in support businesses and an additional 5,000 jobs supported in original equipment manufacturing.

“When I had the opportunity to visit Tesla’s gigafactory in Nevada during my US trade mission earlier this year, it was clear that this is an industry where early adopters stand to reap the awards,” Palaszczuk continued.

“Townsville has the skilled workforce, the access to renewable technologies and the proximity to growth markets in Asia that are all key prerequisites for success in this sector.”