A view of the office for the lithium-ion battery plant proposed for a site near Woodstock.
A view of the office for the lithium-ion battery plant proposed for a site near Woodstock.

$2 Billion battery plant finds perfect spot in Qld

A FEASIBILITY study into a $2 billion battery plant in Townsville is confirming the city's suitability for large-scale manufacturing, one of the consortium partners says.

Listed Australian company Magnis Energy Technologies told the stock exchange yesterday significant progress was being made with positive initial findings.

It said the project also opened potential opportunities to co-located allied businesses worth between $1 and $2 billion to the local economy.

"We are on track now to achieve our bankable feasibility study. It's an important part of securing funding for the project," Magnis managing director Marc Vogts told the Bulletin.

"Everybody is engaging and working hard to achieve that."

Magnis is a one-third owner of the Imperium3 Townsville, a group associated with consortia developing similar battery plants in the United States, Germany and India.

Brisbane-based Ausenco is overseeing process development for a 15 gigawatt hour lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility near Woodstock, while the Townsville GHD office is overseeing site development and building design.

In yesterday's announcement, Magnis said the economic and strategic benefits of the Townsville project included about 750 high technology jobs, realising higher value from resources and the transitioning of Australia to a low carbon economy.

It said the study was confirming the suitability of Townsville because of its proximity to Asia, the local availability of battery materials and precursors such as lithium and manganese, supportive governments and project team and the city's ambition to become a centre of high technology manufacturing.

Mr Vogts said with the federal election now under way projects like Townsville's battery plant should be at the forefront of both sides of politics.

Battery storage was the "missing link" in the development of renewable energy, he said.

"We see this plant as just the start of a technology precinct in Townsville," Mr Vogts said.

"I'm hoping this will get other allied organisations thinking about establishing in Townsville."

Mr Vogts said the opportunities included upstream industries, such as the supply of materials for batteries, and downstream, in the development of battery packs suited for use in electric vehicles and homes as well as battery management systems needed to monitor them.

They aimed to provide a finalised study to the State Government, which is a study funding partner, in September and to begin a staged development of the battery plant at the Townsville council-held site near Woodstock by mid next year.