Battery gigafactory set for Geelong

New-York-based Recharge Industries is to build a lithium-ion battery gigafactory in Geelong, Victoria to generate up to 30 gigawatt hours of storage capacity.

The company announced that it had engaged advisers Accenture as its engineering provider to move forward on building what it envisages as one of the world’s largest gigafactories.

At full capacity, the large-scale lithium-ion battery cell production facility will generate up to 30 gigawatt hours (GWh) of storage capacity per year for electric vehicles and stationary energy storage markets.

However Australia has no local electric vehicle manufacturers, so it would seem that battery storage was the more likely target market for the new plant.

Australia is the world’s largest producer of lithium but has been slow to develop a lithium value chain including large scale battery production.

Recharge said construction would begin in the second half of 2023, with the goal of producing batteries equal to two GWh annually in the second half of 2024 and six GWh by 2026. As operations expand to full capacity, the factory will employ an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 workers directly.

Recharge Industries and Accenture have signed a framework contract covering the following Accenture consulting and engineering capabilities – advisory on the facility layout, including utility planning and set-up of the production lines; assistance in procuring and shipping the required equipment; conduction of final tests of all line equipment; ongoing process and product engineering support to improve battery production.

Recharge Industries said it had already secured the production equipment for the first 2 GWh production line with binding off-take contracts and secured funding. The equipment is scheduled to arrive in Australia in late May 2023.

The two companies will collaborate closely with Charge CCCV (C4V), a technology partner of Recharge Industries, to support the ambitious timing.

According to a statement: “C4V provides proven Intellectual Property (IP), a qualified supply chain, blueprints and technology concepts for battery manufacturing, which accelerate planning, engineering, and construction. Accenture will work closely with Recharge Industries™ to adapt C4V’s IP to the conditions and requirements of the Geelong manufacturing plant.”

CEO of Recharge Industries Rob Fitzpatrick said: “Establishing a sovereign manufacturing capability to produce state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery cells is critical to Australia’s renewable energy economy – meeting national demand, generating export income and securing supply chains.

“Our factory, which we are building with the assistance of Accenture’s engineering and capital projects expertise and underpinned by C4V’s IP and battery technology, will create thousands of jobs and attract large-scale investment from key players in Australia, the Indo-Pacific region, and other parts of the world.”

Picture: Recharge Industries

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