Lithium Australia firms up Chinese battery partnership
Lithium Australia has firmed up its alliance with Chinese battery manufacturer DLG Battery with the formation of a joint marketing division that will provide a range of lithium-ion batteries, or “LIBs”, with a focus on industry-scale energy storage products.
The new division, Soluna Australia, will supply and service a range of energy-storage products for residential energy storage through to industrial energy-storage products.
Soluna Australia will also provide technical support, customer service and custom products for large-scale storage applications.
While most of the product range will be available with both nickel-cobalt-manganese and lithium-iron-phosphate, or “LFP”, batteries, Lithium Australia said that it favours LFP batteries in energy storage systems, or “ESS”.
This is due to LFP batteries offering greater safety and operational life, both of which are valued in ESS applications, compared to other nickel or cobalt-based LIBs.
VSPC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lithium Australia, has successfully produced lithium iron phosphate cathode powders from lithium phosphate, extracted from lower-grade ores such as waste micas using the company’s proprietary “SiLeach” process and will provide the cathode powders to DLG for testing.
The company said Soluna is currently assessing the potential for installing several hybrid power management systems for evaluation in the Australian energy market.
Lithium Australia Managing Director Adrian Griffin said: “Our partnership with DLG, a leading Chinese battery producer, provides an opportunity to establish our new division, Soluna Australia, as a leading Australian-based provider of LIBs and technical solutions to the fast-growing ESS market that sits in our own backyard.”
“In addition, Lithium Australia is well on the way to meeting the requirements that will enable VSPC to commercialise its cathode materials and provide Australia with access to purpose-built LFP battery storage, the safest and most effective option for energy storage systems.”
In May, Lithium Australia signed a letter of intent with DLG – one of China’s ten largest battery manufacturers – to form an equal joint venture to supply and sell LIB cells, packs and modules in Australia and provide battery recycling solutions through Lithium Australia’s recycling business unit.
The two parties will also form a technology alliance to fast track commercialisation of VSPC’s technology for the production of lithium cathode powders for use in DLG batteries.