Australia’s first lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility to be built in Tomago
On 13 October Energy Renaissance, Australia’s first lithium-ion battery manufacturer, announced that it will build Renaissance One, a new A$28 million battery manufacturing facility in Tomago.
The company produces batteries that are safe, affordable and optimised to perform in hot climates. Energy Renaissance’s batteries can be used to power infrastructure, buildings, businesses and homes.
“We have settled on Tomago as the site of our first plant, construction will commence and the plant is scheduled for completion in 2021,” said Mark Chilcote, Managing Director of Energy Renaissance.
Chilcote said that the 4,000 sqm purpose-built facility will be constructed by local property developer ATB Morton and have an initial battery production capacity of 66MWh per annum, with plans to scale its Australian operation to 5.3GWh of energy storage per annum with an additional investment of more than $200 million.
“Over 1,700 direct jobs will be created during the construction and operational phase and another 6,500 indirect jobs will be generated for the benefit of the Hunter.
“The Hunter region has all the right skills, natural resources, expertise and an abundance in solar energy for us to develop a successful battery manufacturing business in Australia,” Chilcote said.
It’s expected that more than half of the batteries produced at Renaissance One will be exported through the Port of Newcastle.
The Federal Government provided a co-funded grant of $246,625 through the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre to Energy Renaissance. This has been used to accelerate research and development as it starts to manufacture batteries locally.
Patron Senator for the Hunter Region Hollie Hughes congratulated Energy Renaissance on its investment in the Hunter during a ground-breaking ceremony at the Tomago site.
“Energy Renaissance will make clean and affordable energy more accessible and create greater energy security for Australia and our neighbouring countries.
“Once Renaissance One is operating at capacity, it will be able to provide - in the space of a year - enough batteries to power every public school, hospital, fire station, SES unit and new homes built in Australia.
“That’s reassuring because Australia will be able to rely on its own source of renewable energy in the very near future,” Senator Hughes said.
Hughes said that the company’s investment in the local economy will support the Hunter region and help lead Australia’s economic recovery.
I would like to encourage other manufacturers to move to the area to create a renewable energy manufacturing hub.
“With its deep-water port and proximity to the Newcastle University there is no better location for renewable energy manufacturers.”
Chilcote said that building Renaissance One at Tomago will provide significant competitive advantages to Energy Renaissance.
“Access to the Port of Newcastle will allow us to ship our batteries to Southeast Asia while working with highly-skilled talent from CSIRO’s Energy Centre and graduates from the University of Newcastle.”
Dr Jens Goennemann, Managing Director of AMGC said, “With its new site, Energy Renaissance will leverage Australia’s abundance of natural resources by adding value to raw materials, building onshore capability, and exporting into global markets. This in-turn will generate significant local manufacturing jobs and boost prosperity for the nation while giving Australia a significant foothold in the growing energy storage sector.”
The Federal Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap has singled out the potential for Australia to be a world leader in the investment for renewable energy. Batteries produced by companies such as Energy Renaissance will make electricity clean and more affordable in Australia.