Northern Territory LFP battery cathode plant reaches milestone
The Northern Territory Government has announced in a media release that Avenira Ltd and Taiwan’s Aleees have signed a licence and technology transfer agreement to progress a lithium ferrophosphate (LFP) battery cathode manufacturing facility at the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct.
The agreement will provide Avenira with the authority and specifications to manufacture LFP battery cathode material in Darwin. The manufacturing plant will be Australia’s first commercial-scale facility of its kind, designed to deliver 30,000 tonnes per annum of LFP powder for use in electric vehicle and energy storage batteries.
Avenira estimates the project will create over 500 jobs during construction and 100 operations jobs, which will scale up to 300 positions and generate up to $1.5 billion annually to the Territory economy.
In September 2022, Avenira and Aleees signed a memorandum of understanding to work together with the Northern Territory to progress the manufacturing plant. Avenira is one of five companies with a ‘not to deal’ commitment for land at the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct.
Over the last 12 months, the Territory Government has continued to facilitate the project with support around regulatory approvals, connection to offtake markets and maximising benefits for local businesses.
Avenira’s Wonarah Phosphate project in the Barkly will eventually supply phosphate to the LFP facility, with Avenira recently signing a mining agreement with the Arruwurra Aboriginal Corporation to continue to develop the project.
Phosphate is traditionally used in agricultural fertiliser and is in increasing demand for use as a critical mineral in electric vehicle and energy storage batteries to support increased use of green energy and transition to net zero emissions.
“Securing a technology partner of Aleees’ calibre gives us great confidence as we continue to develop the LFP project at Middle Arm, Darwin, together,” said Avenira Chairman Brett Clark. “Once operational this will be Australia’s first LFP plant and an important example of value-adding to our upstream Wonarah Phosphate Resource.
“The production of LFP cathode material is an important pre-cursor to the manufacture of LFP batteries, which are gaining popularity among EV manufacturers globally and are also the preferred type of battery for energy storage systems. The LFP plant will create many opportunities for Australia with increased technology skills, research and development, engineering and integration with global renewable supply chains.”
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