Lithium Australia’s (ASX: LIT) commercialisation plans for 2020 have begun in earnest with the company revealing its subsidiary VSPC has inked a memorandum of understanding with a China-based high-tech entity Beijing Saideli Technology Incorporated Company to take VSPC’s cathode technology to market.
Under the agreement, VSPC and Beijing Saideli will jointly develop a staged plan to commercialise VSPC’s lithium-ferro-phosphate cathode material in China.
The plan will include establishing a supply chain for VSPC customers in the country.
According to Lithium Australia, Beijing Saideli has “considerable expertise” in designing and manufacturing processing equipment.
The China-based company also has “extensive experience” in constructing, commissioning and operating chemical process plants including those that produce lithium-ion battery cathode powders.
As part of the agreement, Beijing Saideli and VSPC will carry out a joint feasibility study into using VSPC’s technology to produce and supply lithium-ferro-phosphate cathode material outside of China.
Commenting on the agreement, Lithium Australia’s managing director Adrian Griffin said it was a “great opportunity” to partner with Beijing Saideli which has a demonstrated track record in process development and delivering high-tech plants.
“VSPC’s memorandum of understanding with Beijing Saideli provides Lithium Australia with a low-capital pathway to commercialisation of VSPC cathode powders in order to meet targets set by our other partners in China.”
“We look forward to working with Beijing Saideli, with a specific focus on the anticipated growth of lithium-ferro-phosphate cathode materials for transport and energy-storage applications,” Mr Griffin added.
Lithium-ferro-phosphate cathode market outlook
Lithium Australia anticipates the market for lithium-ferro-phosphate cathodes will “grow strongly” over the next 10 years.
The company claims the lithium-ferro-phosphate cathode is an “ideal” lithium-ion battery chemistry for energy storage applications due to the many advantages it offers over other chemistries.
A lithium-ferro-phosphate cathode-based battery is a lower cost and offers deep discharge, fast charging, long operating life, high power, and is capable of operating in a wide temperature range with no thermal runaway.
Lithium Australia predicts uses for this battery chemistry will expand, with the chemistry also anticipated to replace other battery chemistries including lead acid.
The company expects its lithium-ferro-phosphate battery chemistry will be suited to micro and mild hybrid powertrains, low speed electric vehicles, datacentre UPS and 5G tower back up, e-buses, light rail, trucks, military and marine applications.