Australian Vanadium receives grant boost for redox flow batteries project

by Margaret Lau
AVL signed a memorandum of understanding with U.S. Vanadium in December 2020. Photo: AVL
Australian Vanadium (AVL) has been awarded a AUD 3.69m (£2m) federal government grant to design, build and operate a vanadium battery electrolyte plant and develop local vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) prototypes.

The grant is for matched funding to support AVL’s plan to include a high-purity processing circuit to produce battery, chemical and master-alloy grade vanadium pentoxide as part of the development of its Australian Vanadium Project.

AVL plans to build a commercial vanadium electrolyte plant based in Western Australia, to support the rollout of VRFBs in the country.

Energy storage

The grant – awarded under the government’s Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing National Manufacturing Priority roadmap – will also allow AVL to use its vanadium electrolyte to support development of the long-duration energy storage market.

AVL managing director Vincent Algar said: "The grant will provide support to AVL to achieve production of high-purity vanadium pentoxide, which is a key input to vanadium-titanium master alloys for critical steel applications and vanadium electrolyte for batteries.”

The company is already in talks with offtakers for vanadium electrolyte, in addition to vanadium pentoxide, Algar said.

Ore reserve

AVL’s manufacturing project must be fully completed by 31 March 2024. The total project cost is AUD 7.4m.
The company launched its VSUN Energy subsidiary in 2016 to grow the VRFB market in Australia.

Last December, AVL released an updated pre-feasibility study indicating a 76% increase in the ore reserve at its project in Western Australia. 

AVL has also signed a memorandum of understanding with speciality chemical producer, U.S. Vanadium, for future vanadium offtake and to expand AVL’s presence in the US market.

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