Tivan teams up with Japanese manufacturer for Darwin VE facility

Battery metals specialist Tivan (ASX:TVN) is teaming up with Japan-based electronics manufacturer Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI) to advance planning for a vanadium electrolyte (VE) manufacturing facility in Darwin. 

Tivan and SEI are set to commence a testwork program targeting the production of ‘high-quality’ VE using vanadium from Tivan’s Speewah project in Western Australia. The VE facility, once built, will be based in Darwin’s Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct (MASDP).

The facility will be designed to support the deployment of vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) in northern Australia. Tivan says VE is used to store energy in VRFB.

According to Tivan, the testwork program with SEI is designed to span 9 months and will be supported by work being progressed by global engineering group Hatch as part of the Speewah project’s Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS). 

SEI and Tivan have been collaborating since mid-2023, and Tivan says SEI has provided the company with its VE specification on a commercial-in-confidence basis. Tivan has designed the testwork program with the help of this information. 

The company has established a working group to oversee the planning and execution of the SEI test program that includes Emeritus Professor Maria Skyllas-Kazacos from the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of New South Wales — a member of Tivan’s Technical Advisory Group and the inventor of VRFB. 

Further, to support the VRFB supply to northern Australia, Tivan in late October 2023 signed a letter of intent with privately held Larrakia Energy to supply up to 30 megawatts of renewable energy from a proposed 300MW solar farm to be based in Larrakia Country. 

Tivan Executive Chairman Grant Wilson says achieving the SEI VE specification will be a ‘key step’ in validating the Speewah orebody.

“The superior characteristics of Speewah as a vanadium resource, including grade, strip, proximity, and size, underpin Tivan’s durable competitive advantage in developing the long-duration energy storage (LDES) market, commencing in Darwin. 

This advantage will be evident in our Prefeasibility Study later this year.”

The company says it has been advancing discussions since October 2023 with owners of large-scale industrial facilities in the Darwin area and key proponents at MASDP, as well as the proponents of solar projects in the Northern Territory, regarding the development pathway for LDES in the area. 

Tivan is also working with the Northern Territory government to further this opportunity.

Essentially, the company says its engagement program has confirmed the ‘robust’ commercial opportunity for LDES across the Northern Territory and at MASDP.

Further to the vanadium-related developments, Tivan announced in early February 2023 that it had initiated plans to completely re-estimate the resource of its Speewah Fluorite Project after its board formally approved the project’s progression. 

The company had around $2.86 million cash at hand at the end of December 2023, according to its latest quarterly report.

Images: Tivan
Author Image
Written By Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith has years of experience in the media sector, having worked as a markets reporter, features writer, and editor since completing a Communications and Journalism degree and a Creative Writing degree. Josh is an avid board game fan and a self-professed coffee snob.