Australian vanadium developer TNG launches VRFB business for 'green-energy batteries'

by Margaret Lau
VFRB business will be owned by TNG Energy. Photo: TNG
Australian vanadium project developer TNG is launching a vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) business to expand its presence in the “green energy” sector.

TNG, which owns the Mount Peake Vanadium-Titanium-Iron project in Australia’s Northern Territory, aims to produce its own vanadium electrolyte and become a commercial supplier of VRFBs.

The VRFB business will be owned by the company’s wholly-owned TNG Energy subsidiary – which could be spun off in the longer term “to maximise shareholder value”.

TNG’s MD and CEO, Paul Burton, has been appointed to chair a steering committee to get TNG Energy up and running. The new business will initially work with local authorities and agencies to earmark potential VFRB development sites.

Mount Peake, about 230km north of Alice Springs, has a production target of 6,000 tonnes per annum of high-purity vanadium pentoxide, in addition to titanium dioxide pigment and iron ore fines products, utilising TNG’s patented and 100%-owned TIVAN processing technology.

TNG has already produced high-purity vanadium electrolyte, using vanadium pentoxide from the Mount Peake project, in a pilot operation with engineering partner the SMS group.

The company said VRFBs “offer a number of distinct advantages for sustainable large-scale energy storage, having long lifespans of potentially 20-plus years without performance degradation, the ability to discharge without battery damage, the non-flammability of the vanadium electrolyte, and the ability to recover and re-use the vanadium electrolyte at the end of the battery life”.

TNG and SMS have also signed an agreement to develop a hydrogen production technology.

Meanwhile, TNG said its “primary focus remains on completion of design, engineering and pre-development planning” for Mount Peake as it moves towards a final investment decision.