Perth-based infrastructure firm InfraNomics and UK battery manufacturer AMTE Power have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish the viability of lithium-ion cell manufacturing in Western Australia (WA). Of course, such an eventuation would be a great boost for Australia’s energy storage sector.
AMTE Power CEO Kevin Brundish said that the partnership with InfraNomics is an exciting step toward establishing “onshore, end-to-end battery manufacturing capabilities in Western Australia…AMTE Power has developed the technology and tools to significantly reduce the time to market for lithium-ion cells.”
For the reason the partners will team up at Lithium Valley, an industry initiative located in Kwinana which seeks to enable the development of secondary and tertiary processing of lithium and other critical raw materials such as cobalt, vanadium, graphite and rare earths.
InfraNomics Founder and Director, Cameron Edwards, said Lithium Valley is the perfect location as it gives the partners direct access to the raw materials, expertise, energy, and workforce. The goal is to develop a battery facility that can “deliver a sustainable and ethical alternative supply chain for domestic and international customers.” Edwards predicts that the establishment of an advanced manufacturing facility in Lithium Valley will “create a minimum of 250 direct jobs, value-add to the emerging local critical raw materials industry, develop a new manufacturing export market for Australia, and support growth of AMTE Power throughout Europe.”
For Edwards, the partnership is the marriage between AMTE’s manufacturing, IP portfolio, and world-leading battery expertise with WA’s blessed energy storage resources and industry. This combo, Edwards believes, “provides the opportunity for an international alternative supply chain which is competitive on price, quality, sustainability and reliability.”
Western Australia’s budding battery boost
It is no secret, Western Australia has the potential to be the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy. WA has the solar, it has the wind, and it has the resources. However, as Tesla’s recently announced purchase of a 10,000 acre lithium clay claim in Nevada demonstrates, the winners of the race to energy transition are going to be those who have all their ducks in their value chain in a row.
There is enough lithium in just Nevada to electrify the entire US fleet! pic.twitter.com/DNgcjRqAWR
— Tesla Raj (@tesla_raj) September 22, 2020
Despite the masochism of the Federal Government’s “road to nowhere” Technology Investment Roadmap, it is clear that for Australia to develop the necessary scale and low-cost for energy storage and electric vehicles, let alone for it to become a renewable energy export power, it needs to take advantage of everything under its own roof.
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