Lithium Australia Finalises Energy Storage JV

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) announced the completion of its Joint Venture for joint battery marketing operations with China-based battery and energy storage specialists the DLG Group (DLG).

Lithium Australia said the new enterprise will be an incorporated JV venture with it holding 50 per cent interest and DLG the same.

The JV will be trading as Soluna Australia Pty Ltd, which has been established to sell lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) and Soluna energy storage products into the rapidly expanding Australian renewables energy market.

Lithium Australia cited a detailed investigation of the Australian energy-storage industry that identified there to be serious supply-chain constraints in the delivery of LIBs to Australian customers.

The company indicated that Soluna Australia intends to provide a new and reliable supply source for renewable energy solutions to power users in Australia.

The Australian renewable energy sector is presently experiencing strong growth, which has led the Australian Council of Learned Academics to estimate that 16 Gigawatt hours of energy storage will be required by 2030 to ensure security of electricity supply for the medium forecast rate of uptake of renewable energy.

That is estimated to necessitate investment of more than $5 billion in energy-storage solutions in the next 10 years, with LIBs forming a large proportion.

Under the Lithium Australia/DLG agreement, the parties will facilitate technological cooperation between LIT Subsidiary, VSPC Ltd and DLG for both cathode and battery R&D.

DLG will work with Lithium Australia to further develop VSPC’s cathode powders, initially with a focus on lithium-ferro-phosphate (LFP) LIBs, LFP being the ideal battery chemistry for Australian energy-storage applications.

DLG has been working with VSPC to test LFP cathode powders produced at the latter’s pilot plant in Brisbane, Australia.

Those powders have been used in the manufacture of commercial 18650 LIBs at DLG’s Shanghai R&D facility.

“Formalisation of Lithium Australia’s Joint Venture with DLG, which resulted in the creation of Soluna Australia, paves the way for the introduction of superior energy-storage products into the Australian market, reducing the carbon footprint of national energy consumption for both residential and industrial consumers,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We foresee great potential for energy storage in fringe-of-grid and off-grid applications, as well as improvements in the utilisation of power from existing grids.”