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A complete vanadium flow battery manufacturing supply chain is set to be built in Townsville, Queensland through a new agreement signed by three companies.

Under the agreement, Idemitsu Australia will market, sell and deliver vanadium flow batteries to Australian customers using hardware from Sumitomo Electric Industries and Vecco Group’s electrolyte made from vanadium mined in North Queensland.

Vecco will mine and refine high-purity vanadium at its Julia Creek mine while manufacturing battery electrolyte in Townsville.

“We are taking vanadium from Julia Creek – one of the world’s biggest and best vanadium resources – and turning it into batteries here creating more local jobs,” Queensland Premier Steven Miles said.

“We know those batteries will provide deep storage into our own grid, but we are taking it a step further.

“This means manufacturing the vanadium flow batteries needed in Australia to transition to renewable energy and supplying vanadium electrolyte to the world.”

To prepare for the growth the agreement is anticipated to bring, Vecco has secured a 3.2-hectare site at Cleveland Bay Industrial Park for its commercial production facility. A detailed design for a commercial production facility is currently underway.

“Demand for vanadium flow batteries is rapidly increasing to meet the world’s energy storage demands,” Vecco Group managing director Tom Northcott said.

“Over 7.4GWh (gigawatt hour) of vanadium flow battery projects globally are currently under construction or have been announced in the last 12 months.

“The decision for Idemitsu to market and deploy vanadium flow batteries using Sumitomo and Vecco products acknowledges the scale of the opportunity.”

The supply chain is expected to be operational in 2026.