Vanadium electrolyte manufacturing facility opens in WA

Officials at the ribbon-cutting ceremony launching Australian Vanadium Limited's new vanadium electrolyte facility
Image: AVL

Federal Resources Minister, Hon. Madeleine King MP officially opened Australian Vanadium Limited’s vanadium electrolyte manufacturing facility located in Wangara, Western Australia.

Related article: Vanadium to be ‘workhorse’ of battery/renewables sector

The vanadium electrolyte facility has the potential to produce up to 33MWh of high purity electrolyte per annum, catering to the growing demands of the vanadium flow battery (VFB) market.

Also on display at the facility was a 78kW/220kWh VFB manufactured by Invinity Energy Systems, which is destined for a Horizon Power project in Kununurra and also a prototype residential 5kW/15kWh VFB.

In 2021, AVL was awarded a $3.69M Federal Government grant, with part of the funding allocated to building and operating a commercial vanadium electrolyte manufacturing facility in Western Australia to support the commercialisation of VFBs and the design of the prototype residential battery.

AVL has used US Vanadium LLC’s (USV) proven electrolyte manufacturing technology for the plant’s design, which has de-risked construction and start-up. USV currently manufactures vanadium electrolyte for the North American market.

AVL holds the exclusive licence for Australia and New Zealand for USV’s vanadium electrolyte manufacturing technology. Until production of vanadium oxides from AVL’s processing hub commences, vanadium oxide feedstock for the electrolyte facility will be sourced from USV’s vanadium production facility in the US.

VFBs were invented in the 1980s at the University of New South Wales by Emeritus Professor Maria Skyllas-Kazacos and her team. They have been commercialised overseas and their popularity as an energy storage device is growing.

Hon. Minister Madeleine King MP said, “Vanadium flow batteries were invented in Australia, and Australian vanadium will play a key role in the energy transition.

“Vanadium production is highly concentrated internationally, and it is on Australia’s Critical Minerals List.

Related article: Horizon Power purchases vanadium flow battery

“The Australian Government supports critical minerals projects through measures including the Critical Minerals Facility and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund.”

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