Australia-based graphite producer Magnis Energy Technologies has inked a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Newcastle (UoN) and meat processing giant Fletcher International Exports (FIE) for a pilot demonstration plant to integrate a ‘big battery’ into FIE’s flagship Dubbo processing facility.
Magnis said the project will involve the transportation and installation of a 2.2 MWh ‘plug and play’ battery from its New York inventory.
According to the company, it will incorporate a program of R&D overseen by UoN’s Institute of Energy and Resources (NIER), exploring the cost and efficiency gains unlocked by the integration of battery storage into a meat processing facility’s operational power profile.
Magnis Executive Chairman Frank Poullas said establishing a battery project with FIE in a region which is highlighted as a future renewable energy hub was ‘exciting for all parties’ involved.
“Agreements like these are a vital element in the company’s strategic plan to expand Lithium-ion battery cell offtake partnerships, as production in New York and then our plans for Australian manufacturing scales up,” he added.
The announcement was welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack.
“Its good to see the agriculture sector working closely with some of our brightest minds to develop new technology that will help the $31 billion industry grow,” the Minister said.
FIE is a private, family owned integrated processor and exporter of lamb and sheep meet products that operates two highly efficient, world-class processing facilities, with a combined processing capacity of more than 90,000 sheep and lambs per week, or 4.5 million head per year.
The company’s Director Roger Fletcher welcomed the agreement and the opportunity to explore the potential of a ‘big battery’ alongside Magnis and the University of Newcastle.
“We have a responsibility to our people, our consumers and our environment to continuously improve our operations,” he said.
“The project is a natural progression for us, fitting in with our sustainability achievements to date and our strategy moving forward.
“As individuals, communities and as a nation, we must strive for energy efficiency wherever possible. For us to achieve, we must take a united approach.”
According to Magnis, the project will commence in mid-2021.