Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) and Chinese battery manufacturer DLG Battery Co Ltd have shored up their partnership after establishing joint venture company Soluna Australia Pty Ltd to market safer lithium-iron-phosphate battery chemistry options within Australia.
With recent electric vehicle fires highlighting concerns regarding the safety and use of lithium-ion batteries made from nickel and cobalt, Lithium Australia noted its lithium-iron-phosphate battery chemistry offered a “superior safety record”, making it a “preferable option” in many applications including energy storage systems, which will be the target market.
“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 lithium-ion batteries and technical solutions to the fast-growing energy storage system market that sits in our own backyard,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said.
In addition to lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, equally owned entity Soluna Australia will supply a range of energy storage products including nickel-cobalt-manganese lithium-ion batteries and other services to Australia’s residential and industrial energy storage system markets.
The entity will be based from a new Australian warehousing and technical facility and will even supply custom products including microgrids with systems made to specification.
Soluna Australia will also assess the potential for installing hybrid power management systems in the local energy market.
As part of the joint venture, Lithium Australia’s wholly-owned subsidiary VSPC will manufacture the lithium-iron-phosphate cathode powders using its proprietary technology.
The powders will then be supplied to DLG for battery creation.
Pilot production of these powders is underway for DLG to evaluate.
“Although VSPC technology can be used to generate most lithium-ion battery cathode powders, VSPC has maintained a strong emphasis on lithium-iron-phosphate due to its superior attributes (including safety), which make it the most appropriate choice for energy storage system applications,” Lithium Australia explained.
The company also added lithium-iron-phosphate battery chemistries had added advantages of “superior operational life”, the ability to function within wide temperature ranges, low supply chain risk, as well as being low cost and made from readily available materials.
By mid-afternoon Lithium Australia’s share price was up 8% to $0.054.