10/04/2019 - 14:01

Battery HQ for Curtin, $110m project build deal awarded

10/04/2019 - 14:01

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The federal government has allocated $25 million towards a battery industry research initiative to be headquartered at Curtin University, while the Bentley-based university today announced it had awarded the main construction contract for a $110 million development.

Battery HQ for Curtin, $110m project build deal awarded
Curtin has awarded the construction contract of the $110 million School of Design and the Built Environment to Lendlease.

The federal government has allocated $25 million towards a battery industry research initiative to be headquartered at Curtin University, while the Bentley-based university today announced it had awarded the main construction contract for a $110 million development.

Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews announced today that the Curtin-led national collaboration of 58 industry, government and research partners had been successful in its bid to establish the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC).

The federal government’s announcement follows a $28 million commitment from the Western Australian government and research partners.

Specifically, the state government will provide $5.5 million through the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia, and a further $500,000 from the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

The six-year FBICRC project will also receive $82 million in kind.

Curtin University deputy vice-chancellor of research, Chris Moran, said the announcement would ensure Australia capitalised on the significant opportunities presented by the battery boom.

“The world is transitioning to electricity systems powered by renewable energy and the global use of energy materials is booming, driven by the rising demand for batteries to store this power,” he said.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said WA was the obvious choice to host the FBICRC.

“We have all the minerals you need to make batteries and energy technologies, including nickel, lithium and cobalt,” he said.

Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA chief executive Paul Everingham said the centre would have the potential to create jobs and fill current and future skill gaps.

“Understanding the true nature of WA’s competitive advantage in this rapidly evolving industry is crucial to creating sustainable value for WA from this opportunity,” he said.

Also today, Curtin announced it had awarded the construction contract for its $110 million School of Design and the Built Environment, designed by John Wardle Architects, to Lendlease.

It is the first of a series of buildings within Curtin’s $500 million innovation and industry exchange precinct.

Construction is expected to start this quarter for the facility, which includes collaborative learning spaces, open-plan workspaces, and a ground floor featuring a central courtyard and exhibition and retail space.

Integrated spaces totalling 2,500 square metres have also been allocated to industry and will be available for lease by complementary commercial tenants.

Curtin University vice-chancellor Deborah Terry said the new facility, located in the heart of exchange, represented an exciting new paradigm for learning, teaching and industry.

“Curtin’s new industry-connected precinct called Exchange reflects the university’s vision to serve as a catalyst for innovation by creating a hub that encompasses public spaces, commercial offices, speciality retail shops, new student accommodation, residential apartments, a boutique hotel, our new bus interchange at Curtin Central, and food and beverage outlets,” she said.

Lendlease general manager Chris Learmonth said the company was thrilled to partner with Curtin to deliver the building, which was due for completion within two years.

“This modern learning and teaching facility will play a critical role in bringing to life the university’s vision to become the epicentre of research and innovation in WA,” he said.

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