Thursday 18th Aug, 2022

Construction underway on Australian-first iron flow battery hub

BGC Contracting has secured a bulk earthworks and roads contract at Fortescue Metals Group’s Eliwana iron ore project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Building has begun on one of Australia’s first, large-scale iron flow battery manufacturing facility in Maryborough, Queensland.

Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Steven Miles said the $70 million, state-of-the-art big battery manufacturing centre is being developed by Energy Storage Industries – Asia Pacific (ESI).

“Energy storage is key to unlocking Queensland’s renewable energy revolution as we power towards our target of having 50 per cent renewables by 2030,” Miles said.

“Queensland is becoming a renewable energy superpower and we’re well-positioned to be Australia and Asia-Pacific’s energy storage gateway.

“In the near future, power generated from a nearby wind or solar farm will be stored in iron flow batteries and help power Queensland.”

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Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the facility would create more jobs in regional Queensland.

“Whether it’s trains or batteries, we’re making it in Maryborough,” Saunders said.

“Iron flow batteries will be manufactured and distributed right here in Maryborough, creating high skilled jobs through a new industry.

“This facility will help boost energy supply, support local jobs and drive down power prices – all vitally important for areas like the Wide Bay.

“When fully operational in 2026, ESI aims to have up to 500 highly skilled employees and contractors working throughout regional Queensland.”

ESI Director Stuart Parry said the company’s focus was on the manufacture and distribution of iron flow batteries for large-scale energy storage targeted towards wholesale electricity generators, energy retailers, and commercial and industrial customers.

“We expect this Maryborough centre to be operational by 2024 and by 2026 we expect to be in a position to deliver 400 megawatts of energy storage each year,” Parry said.

“Within 15 years we expect to be able to supply 6 gigawatts of energy storage – or the equivalent of 20 per cent of Australia’s energy needs.

“Longer-term, we have significant export ambitions – to be a provider of large-scale and small, modular distributed energy storage solutions to the Pacific Islands and South East Asia.”

By 2026, ESI expects to have around 500 highly-skilled staff and contractors working across regional Queensland. The company intends to procure up to 80 per cent of battery components within regional Queensland, further supporting regional business growth by supplying the state’s energy transition.