Vanadium developer Technology Metals Australia is conducting a feasibility study to gauge the suitability of building a vanadium electrolyte production plant in Australia.
The proposed plant would see the firm produce vanadium electrolyte from high purity vanadium pentoxide supplied by its Murchison Technology Metals Project (MTMP) in West Australia.
The Australian firm aims to support long-duration energy storage battery deployment in the country.
Technical support for the feasibility study will be provided by the firm’s partner LE System through an extension to the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that gives Technology Metals access to the latter’s knowledge, expertise and experience in the production of vanadium electrolyte.
In addition, the firms will continue discussions on the future licencing of electrolyte production technology and the supply of vanadium from the MTMP facility to LE System’s own electrolyte plant in Japan.
New electrolyte subsidiary
Technology Metals has also established a wholly owned subsidiary, vLYTE, which will work closely with the team at LE System to progress the feasibility study and commercialise the vanadium electrolyte business in Australia.
Technology Metals’ managing director Ian Prentice said: “As we move closer to a development decision on the MTMP vanadium project, we are increasing our focus on these downstream project enhancement initiatives.
“With an increased need for optimisation of renewable energy generation, there is a growing market for longer duration battery storage technologies such as vanadium redox flow batteries.”
On 15 March, Technology Metals entered a MoU for the potential use of LE System’s vanadium electrolyte technology to support the development of the VRFB industry in Australia using vanadium produced from MTMP.
The parties have now agreed to expand the scope of the MoU and extend it through to at least 30 June, 2023.
LE System supplies electrolytes to VRFB manufacturers from its vanadium electrolyte plant in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.
The plant has a production capacity of approximately 5,000m3 of vanadium electrolyte per annum, equivalent to approximately 80MWh of energy storage capacity.