Manufacturing News

Northern Territory’s first battery cathode manufacturing facility

battery cathode

The Northern Territory Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop and operate the Territory’s first battery cathode manufacturing plant in Darwin.

The agreement with Taiwanese company Aleees and Perth-based Avenira is a significant economic and strategic opportunity for the Northern Territory.

The MoU maps out how the Territory government, Aleees, and Avenira will work together to achieve Final Investment Decision (FID) on a pilot facility, with FID anticipated early in 2023.

The government will also work proactively with Aleees Group, Avenira, and their supply chain partners to identify a suitable site in Darwin for the facility.

The plant will manufacture lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cathode material, and the project is estimated to initially create 100 jobs, growing up to 1000 jobs and generating more than US$4 billion in revenue annually once scaled to full production.

Once operational, the pilot facility will manufacture up to 10,000 tonnes of lithium-iron phosphate battery cathode material per year.

Northern Territory chief minister Natasha Fyles said, “Increasing demand and the transition to renewable energy, battery storage and use of high technology products has resulted in global organisations looking to establish diversified, reliable and stable supply chains.

“The project will position the Territory as the next Australian home of advanced manufacturing, develop new skills and jobs, as well as support our objective to achieve a $40 billion economy by 2030.”

Aleees Australia president Brandon Chang said the agreement has a significant impact on strengthening the lithium battery supply chain in the world.

“This cooperation enhance the development of the lithium battery industry in Australia, promoting green energy high-tech development. One of the most exciting opportunities created by renewable energy technologies like cathode materials is the ability to change the world’s sustainability,” Chang said.

The MoU further supports the development of up to 200,000 tonnes per annum manufacturing facility built in phases in Darwin over the next 10 years. The major facility will exclusively source phosphoric acid from the Wonarah Phosphate Project in the Barkly.

Brett Clark executive chairman of Avenira said they were proud to reach this MoU alongside Aleees and the Northern Territory government.

“This MOU opens the door for Avenira to learn from Aleees about LFP battery cathode manufacturing technology and leverage this experience to optimise the production of phosphoric acid from the Wonarah Project,” Clark explained.

The lithium cathode material is a critical active material used within an electric vehicle battery or energy storage battery which determines the capacity, safety and durability of the battery.

Minister for renewables and energy Selena Uibo said, “Our future is renewables – that’s why we continue to back and invest in projects like this lithium battery material manufacturing plant.”

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