Territory’s LFP battery cathode manufacturing plant hits major milestone

Image credit: newsroom.nt.gov.au

ASX-listed Avenira and Taiwan’s ALEEES have signed a license and technology transfer agreement to advance a lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) battery cathode manufacturing facility at the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct. 

This binding agreement grants Avenira the authority and specifications required to produce LFP battery cathode material in Darwin, the Territory Government said in a media release. 

The manufacturing plant is poised to become Australia’s first commercial-scale facility of its kind, with the capacity to deliver 30,000 tonnes per annum of LFP powder. This material will be instrumental in electric vehicles and energy storage batteries.

Avenira anticipates that the project will create more than 500 jobs during the construction phase and sustain approximately 100 operational positions. 

As the facility scales up, it is expected to generate up to 300 positions and contribute up to $1.5 billion annually to the Territory economy.

In September 2022, Avenira and ALEEES signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate with the Northern Territory on advancing the manufacturing plant. 

Avenira is one of five companies committed to land acquisition at the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct.

Over the past 12 months, the Territory Government has actively facilitated the project by assisting with regulatory approvals, establishing connections to offtake markets, and maximizing benefits for local businesses.

Avenira’s Wonarah Phosphate project in the Barkly region will ultimately supply phosphate to the LFP facility. Avenira recently inked a Mining Agreement with the Arruwurra Aboriginal Corporation to further develop this project. 

Chief Minister Natasha Fyles underscored the commitment of the Territory Labor Government to identifying high-quality and innovative projects that will not only generate employment opportunities presently but also contribute to future job creation. 

“For the past 12 months, my government has been working with Aveinra and now we are seeing the signing with ALEEES of a licence and technology transfer agreement, which will provide Avenira with the authority and specifications to manufacture lithium ferro phosphate battery cathode material at the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct,” Fyles stated. 

ALEEES Board Member Jamie Lee emphasised that the collaboration between Avenira and ALEEES, drawing upon their collective experience and expertise, will contribute to increasing the production of ‘Made in Australia’ components for electric vehicle and energy storage batteries. 

Lee said, “By assisting Avenira in manufacturing LFP cathode materials, we enable Avenira’s products to become globally competitive, reduce reliance on foreign sources, and create more green technology job opportunities in manufacturing, engineering, research, and other fields.”

Meanwhile, Brett Clark, Avenira chairman, expressed confidence in securing ALEEES as a technology partner, underscoring its calibre and the positive implications for the ongoing development of the LFP project in Middle Arm, Darwin. 

“Once operational this will be Australia’s first LFP plant and an important example of value-adding to our upstream Wonarah Phosphate Resource,” Clark said. 

He added, “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.”