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australia

Australia to make lithium-ion batteries within months

Tue, 06/22/2021 - 16:22 -- Paul Crompton
Australia to make lithium-ion batteries within months

The first Australia produced batteries are due to roll off the production line within weeks as Energy Renaissance moves closer to its goal of a domestic lithium-ion gigafactory.

The company aims to make its first cells at the interim plant in Tomago, New South Wales, by August.

The company is manufacturing its superRack energy storage systems using a combination of Australian and imported materials, but aims to be making batteries using 100% domestically sourced materials from 2024.

The 4,000 square-meter purpose-built, 36MWh per year lithium-ion manufacturing plant in Tomago cost of AUS$28 million ($20 million).

The company expects to transition to its 1GWh purpose-built battery manufacturing facility— Renaissance One— by February 2022 with the aim of growing capacity to 5.3GWh. 

Renaissance One will have an initially capacity of 200MWh per year when it is commissioned next February, with plans to ramp up to 800MWh per year depending on the final level of automation.

A company spokesman told BEST: “We secured the lease for a temporary facility in Tomago, NSW, to allow us to commence production of batteries by August.

“This means we will have Australian batteries available sooner than we had originally planned last October.

“We have commenced planning for the manufacturing of battery cells at a dedicated facility called Renaissance Two that will supply cells to the Renaissance One battery manufacturing facility. 

“At this stage, we are currently in the preliminary planning stages and we hope that Renaissance Two will commence operations in mid-2023.”

Last year the company secured AUS$246,625 ($175,000) co-funded grant to push forward plans for its Renaissance One plant, which will manufacture batteries for Australia and export to Southeast Asia.

 
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MoU sets out plans to build North American lithium-ion battery recycling plant

Fri, 06/18/2021 - 12:54 -- Paul Crompton
MoU sets out plans to build North American lithium-ion battery recycling plant

Primobius, a joint venture equally owned by Australia’s Neometals and German SMS group, has signed a deal to enter the North American lithium-ion battery recycling market.

Primobius has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Stelco—  a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canada-based Stelco Holdings— to commercialise an environmentally friendly recycling solution.

The MoU aims to form a 50:50 incorporated joint venture (JV) to process battery cells from scrap and end-of-life vehicles in North America. 

Under the JV, Primobius will supply a 20,000 tons-per-year cell processing recycling facility adjacent to Stelco’s proposed vehicle recycling operation.

The Primobius pyrometallurgical recycling process recovers materials from consumer electronic batteries, and nickel‐rich electric vehicle and stationary storage battery chemistries.

Stelco will supply the battery cell feed to the plant. 

Both firms intend to share information, conduct due diligence, collaborate and build a business case for a long-term commercial relationship between the parties. 

Stelco is looking to establish a battery recycling business as part of its broader initiative with major automobile producers to recycle end-of-life automobiles to recover valuable materials for re-use or re-sale.

The facility will be modelled on Primobius’ proprietary refining process following the successful completion of demonstration trials at its plant, which is being built in a warehouse at the SMS group manufacturing center in Hilchenbach, Germany. 

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EPA grants permission for Australia 45,000 tpy lithium battery grade material refinery

Wed, 06/09/2021 - 10:24 -- Paul Crompton
EPA grants permission for Australia 45,000 tpy lithium battery grade material refinery

A proposal to construct and operate a refinery to manufacture battery grade lithium hydroxide has been given the go ahead by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

The 45,000 tonnes per annum Kwinana refinery, part of the Mt Holland project, has been recommended for environmental approval subject to strict conditions relating to greenhouse gas emissions and waste management.

Covalent Lithium aims to process spodumene ore concentrate to produce battery grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate, primarily for use in lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries.

Covalent Lithium is a joint venture between Australia’s Wesfarmers and South America’s Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM) 

The spodumene ore concentrate will be sourced from the Mt Holland Mine, also known as the Earl Grey Lithium Project.

EPA chair Matthew Tonts said Covalent had identified several measures which would mitigate greenhouse gas emissions over the life of the project, including the use of efficient design and equipment technologies and the purchase of carbon offsets.

The EPA’s 2020 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Guideline requires a proposal exceeding 100,000 tonnes of scope 1 emissions each year to demonstrate its contribution towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050, in line with both the Paris Agreement and the IPCC’s 1.5 report.

The decision opens the doors to finalise the full funding of the project— Wesfarmers’ share of capital expenditure for the development of the project is estimated at AUS$950 million ($735 million). 

Following receipt of all relevant approvals, construction of the mine, concentrator and refinery are expected to begin in H1 next year.

The first production of lithium hydroxide is expected in the second half of 2024. 

An updated definitive feasibility study includes increased flexibility to provide for a second phase of the project to expand production capacity at Mt Holland and the Kwinana refinery. 

Preliminary work to evaluate expansion options will commence in parallel with the construction of the first phase of the project.

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Second product recall for Ecoult’s lead-based battery technology

Thu, 08/27/2020 - 09:52 -- Paul Crompton

The Australian safety commission has announced a recall of Ecoult’s Ultraflex lead-acid/ultra-capacitor hybrid battery technology due to “risk of fire and electrocution, which may lead to serious injury or death”.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) identified the UltraFlex 48-4, 48-3 and 48-2, which was sold through Smart Storage t/as Ecoult and electrical integrators between June 2014 and November 2019. 

The commission statement read: “UltraFlex was not designed to independently protect itself or the user against excessive voltage, overheating, or excessive gassing when combined with particular other equipment in a system.” 

ACCC is asking consumers to immediately contact Ecoult to arrange for the decommissioning and removal of the UltraFlex units by a licensed electrician.

Ecoult will provide a refund and remove the UltraFlex units.

The UltraFlex is designed for commercial, large-residential, microgrid and small-industrial users needing energy storage rated up to 20 kW. It is powered by the firm’s UltraBattery, which combines a Deka 12V lead-acid cell and a lead-carbon ultra-capacitor.

Ecoult’s website states the UltraFlex has been installed both on the grid and on remote off-grid sites.

The recall follows a similar one in New Zealand, which ended on 26 August after Ecoult arranged for the UltraFlex units to be removed by a licensed electrician in the country.

Ecoult had not responded to BEST about the recall at time of going to press.

Race hots up to build Australia’s first lithium-ion gigafactory as Imperium3 receives governmental backing

Thu, 08/20/2020 - 11:11 -- Paul Crompton

A consortium is moving to the next stage of plans to build an AUS$3 billion ($2 billion) lithium-ion gigafactory in Queensland, Australia, after receiving the go-ahead from the state’s government.

The Queensland Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation has approved the feasibility study by the Imperium3 Townsville consortium, which includes Magnis, Charge CCCV (C4V), and Boston Energy and Innovation and National Bank Australia.

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AMGC backs Australian firm to build country’s first lithium-ion gigafactory

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 11:19 -- Paul Crompton

Australia’s place on the global battery map was given another boost this week after a co-funding grant was awarded to the country’s first utility-scale lithium-ion manufacturer Energy Renaissance.

The AUS$246,625 ($175,000) co-funded grant includes matched financial contributions from the industry-led, not-for-project organisation Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) and Energy Renaissance.

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Redflow and carbonTRACK collaborate to bring flow battery VPPs to South Africa

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 16:08 -- Paul Crompton

Australian firms Redflow and carbonTRACK have announced an agreement to create virtual power plants (VPP) using zinc-bromine flow batteries.

The partnership will enable end-users to use intelligent control algorithms to optimise the benefits of flow batteries by tailoring the total power system to individual needs

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Australia to double installed energy storage capacity as ESS costs set to fall

Thu, 06/18/2020 - 11:55 -- Paul Crompton

Energy storage analyst Wood Mackenzie forecasts that despite COVID-19 Australia is set to more than double its year-on-year installed energy storage capacity in 2020. 

The industry forecasters predict the country will add 1.2GWh of energy storage capacity this year, taking its cumulative storage capacity at 2.7GWh. Last year, Australia installed 499MWh of energy storage capacity. 

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Tests prove need for high purity alumina in making lithium-ion batteries last longer

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 12:31 -- Paul Crompton

Australian battery materials firm Altech Chemicals has released test results that show high purity (99.99%) 4N alumina prevents sodium leaching when used on a lithium-ion battery separator.

Test work by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) showed high purity alumina (HPA) could prevent battery failure modes including thermal runaway, lithium plating on the anode and life cycle reduction.

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Faradion first as it prepares to ship order of sodium-ion batteries to Australia

Thu, 04/23/2020 - 13:57 -- Paul Crompton

UK sodium-ion manufacturer Faradion is set to ship its batteries to Australia after securing an order from ICM Australia. 

The company expects to ship the order for a “large number” of 40Ah cells in the next quarter to Australia for the first time.

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