PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Australia will need a coordinated and strategic approach to accelerate hub development and streamline industrial and governance processes in order to attract investment into downstream production, and to compete with the global battery manufacturing industry, a new report has shown.
The report, released by the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Center (FBICRC) has highlighted the role of hubs in boosting investment and economic activity in Australia’s battery industries.
“One of the major challenges in attracting investment in establishing a domestic downstream battery material refining and manufacturing hub is the competition from countries in the northern hemisphere, who are also keen to realise the economic benefit from locating as many aspects of their supply chain within their own region,” said report author Dr Kirsten Martinus, from the University of Western Australia.
Two key challenges in creating advanced battery manufacturing hubs in Australia were highlighted in the report, namely Australia’s distance from battery consumer markets, and the scale of policy measures and funding by governments in the UK and Europe in particular in encouraging research and battery industry hub development.
The report noted, however, that the advanced batteries industry is a high growth sector of many players, with future expected expansions incentivising collaborations between small- and medium-sized enterprises and large firms.
FBICRC CEO Stedman Ellis said that the report also highlighted that there was no ‘one size fits all’ approach to hub development, and that a sound understanding of regional assets, industry needs, competitiveness challenges and global trends was required.
“Australia has a strong value proposition in meeting the rapidly growing demand for batteries and a desire to diversify supply chains and to demonstrate high standards of environmental and social governance performance. The momentum is evident with the emerging technical grade battery chemicals industry in Kwinana and Kemerton in Western Australia.
“The report identified establishing battery hubs as one of its key recommendations to achieving a diversified battery industry in Australia worth A$7.4-billion in value annually and supporting over 34 000 jobs by 2030,” Ellis said.