An advanced manufacturing facility that would refine ore for battery production is one step closer to construction after the Queensland government referred it to the state's coordinator-general.
The Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH), which will be located at the Landsdown Eco-Industrial facility 40km south of the city has been declared a prescribed project by the state government.
This gives the coordinator-general powers to ensure timely decision-making in relation to processes and decisions regarding the project's development.
But the federal government is weighing up whether to fund the $650 million TECH through its Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, with the Queensland government already committing $12 million to support rail and road infrastructure in developing the project.
Deputy Premier Steven Mile says the environmentally sustainable facility will broaden north Queensland's manufacturing industry.
“The TECH project has the potential to provide a massive boost to Townsville and regional industry,” Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.
“The project will create around 800 construction jobs and its operational phase would create an estimated 1700 jobs, including 300 highly-skilled advanced manufacturing jobs at the facility and 1400 jobs in support industries.
“Now that the prescribed project declaration has been made, the Queensland Coordinator-General can work with project proponent Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) to ensure all necessary project approvals are obtained in a timely manner.”
QPM plans to build the battery metals refinery at the precinct and construction could begin as soon as 2022, with production slated for late 2023.
Managing Director & CEO Stephen Grocott said the facility could process $1.5 million tonnes of ore annually to produce nickel sulfate, cobalt sulfate and high-purity alumina.
These are highly sought after chemicals for use in electric-vehicle battery manufacturing.
“We will do this in a sustainable manner with industry leading low carbon emissions, zero process liquid discharge and no tailings dam,” he said
“This is a global first, consistent with the TCC's (Townsville City Council's) aims for the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct.”
Agreements are in place to sell products to Korean companies LG Energy Solutions and POSCO, he added.Internet Explorer Channel Network