Federal government funds Victorian lithium battery factory

Advanced manufacturing will be charged up with $800,000 in funding for lithium battery manufacturing in Victoria.

The federal government will fund Calix to develop the BATMn reactor, alongside partners the Institute for Frontier Materials, BAT-TRI Hub at Deakin University, and Boron Molecular.

According to Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, the facility will allow Australia to locally produce value-added products, building off a natural advantage.

“As the world’s largest producer of lithium, we have an enormous opportunity to leverage off this rapidly-growing industry.

“Calix is a fantastic example of an advanced manufacturer using Australia’s abundant lithium reserves to create high-value products for domestic and international markets,” said Andrews.

The partnership had already won $3 million in funding through the Cooperative Research Centre Projects program, which awards funding to specific projects that combine industry and academia to develop new products and services.

The grant identifies the growing global demand for lithium-based energy sources such as batteries for electric vehicles and utility energy storage. The project hopes to create a platform that can sustainably manufacturing batteries in Australia.

According to Senator for Victoria, David Van, the project demonstrates how Australia can take advantage of emerging markets.

“Calix’s BATMn reactor is evidence of Australia’s bright future in advanced manufacturing,” said Van.

At the time of the CRC-P announcement, Calix’s head of battery and catalyst R&D program, Matt Boot-Handford, highlighted how the project fits within a wider series of initiatives to develop new energy storage mechanisms.

“Calix is uniquely placed to accelerate the development and commercialisation of high-performance electrochemical energy storage devices. We have a patented and proven approach to making highly porous ‘nano-active’ materials for both anodes and cathodes, a commercial scale production reactor, short-term projects in place through the CRC-P to demonstrate batteries using our materials, and long term national and global linkages to expertise in batteries through StorEnergy and Polystorage,” said Boot-Handford.

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