Battery manufacturer builds on Australian supply chain


Energy Renaissance is forging ahead with plans to manufacture Australian-made lithium-ion batteries, today announcing a trifecta of new supply agreements with Australian businesses to provide key components that will be used to build the company’s superStorage series of renewable energy storage systems.

Energy Renaissance plans to manufacture up to 5.3GW of semi-solid state lithium-ion batteries per annum at a 4,500sqm purpose-built manufacturing facility being developed near Tamago in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.

The $28 million facility, which is expected to commence commercial production by October this year, will have an initial battery production capacity of 66MWh per annum but Energy Renaissance expects to eventually scale the operation up to 5.3GWh annually to help meet growing demand.

Energy Renaissance, which is currently working out of a temporary production facility, said the Australian-made batteries will be used in stationary (grid and microgrid, renewables, community storage, mining electrification) and transport (buses, light commercial and industrial vehicles) applications. It is looking to supply both the local and export markets.

A key element of the company’s strategy is to source 100% of components used in the manufacturing of its batteries in Australia.

Energy Renaissance managing director Mark Chilcote said the approach was fundamental with the company seeking to not only boost the Australian manufacturing industry but also aiming to protect against the vagaries of the global supply chain.

“Energy Renaissance is dedicated to onshoring manufacturing in Australia so we can protect our customers against global supply chain constraints and unexpected price increases that come with increased freight costs,” he said.

“We started our business with a target to have 100% of our manufacturing completed in Australia. However, this target can only be achieved with a long-term partnership with local suppliers who will invest in business to grow in line with our production requirements.”

Managing director Mark Chilcote, right, with other members of the Energy Renaissance team.

Image: Energy Renaissance

Energy Renaissance today announced long-term framework agreements and preferred supplier relationships with three Australian companies to provide key components for its batteries.

Penrith-based electronics manufacturer GPC Electronics will supply the printed circuit boards for the Battery Management Systems, Brisbane plastic moulding injection manufacturer B&C Plastics will supply the plastic components used in the packs and Newcastle-based Academy Sheetmetal will supply the steel cabinetry for the battery racks.

Energy Renaissance, which continues to import battery cells, said the new supply partnerships mean 92%, or 32 of the 35 components that make up the company’s superStorage series of batteries are produced by or sourced from Australian companies.

“Energy Renaissance is strengthening local manufacturing and, in the future, securing our supply chain for critical battery minerals when we commence the manufacturing of battery cells in Australia,” Chilcote said, adding working with Australian companies will in the longer term make it more cost competitive for components to be manufactured locally.

“While negotiating for supplier agreements, we found local manufacturers who are price competitive with similar components made with a higher quality standard than what we would have to import,” he said.

“This has challenged our views on sourcing for components globally and highlighted that we do have many local companies who share our passion of onshoring manufacturing.”

Chilcote said the company would continue to negotiate local supply agreements as it ramps up the production of its batteries.

The announcement by Energy Renaissance preceded Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese announcing he would tip $100 million in to kickstart battery manufacturing in Australia if he wins power at the federal election later this month.

Albanese on Thursday unveiled the Labor Party’s Australian Made Battery plan which he said has been designed to create more jobs and greater wealth for the nation by manufacturing batteries onshore, adding there are an estimated 34,700 jobs and $7.4 billion in value to be made in Australia from battery technology and industries.

Albanese said if he wins the federal election on 21 May, his government would partner with the Queensland government to create a battery manufacturing precinct, backed by a $100 million Commonwealth equity injection. A future Labor government would also develop a National Battery Strategy to bring government and business efforts together for the long-term good of the nation.

“The resources sector has been the backbone of the Australian economy for decades,” Albanese said. “Developing Australia’s battery manufacturing capability is a step towards the potential for domestic electric vehicle manufacture. Labor will create a future made in Australia. Australia should be a renewable energy powerhouse, not just a raw materials supermarket.”

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