A proposed advanced manufacturing facility at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct has been declared a prescribed project and is set to provide a huge industry and jobs boost in Townsville.
Once delivered, the proposed Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) is expected to be a modern and sustainable producer of a critical chemicals for the emerging lithium ion battery and electric vehicle sector.
The TECH facility will process high-grade nickel laterite ore imported from ‘a number of ore supply partners New Caledonia’ to produce nickel sulfate, cobalt sulfate and high-purity alumina which are sought after chemicals for use in the emerging electric-vehicle battery manufacture.
According to project proponent Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM), it will do so in a sustainable manner with industry leading low carbon emissions, zero process liquid discharge and no tailings dam.
QPM Managing Director & CEO Stephen Grocott said Townsville’s existing infrastructure and a skilled workforce made it the perfect location for the TECH project.
“QPM greatly appreciates the support of the Queensland Government and all stakeholders who supported our application for Prescribed Project status,” he stated.
“In the last 18 months, QPM has progressed the TECH Project in leaps and bounds and we continue our path of becoming a sustainable producer of critical battery metals.
“We applaud the Queensland Government’s decision in recognizing our project as one of state significance, in particular to Townsville and the surrounding region.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the project would generate as many as 1700 new jobs.
“The project will create around 800 construction jobs and its operational phase would create an estimated 1700 jobs, including 300 highly-skilled advanced manufacturing jobs at the facility and 1400 jobs in support industries,” Mr Miles said.
“Now that the prescribed project declaration has been made, the Queensland Coordinator-General can work with project proponent QPM to ensure all necessary project approvals are obtained in a timely manner.”
Construction of the TECH facility is anticipated to begin in 2022 with production commencing late 2023.