The pre-feasibility study will outline essential project infrastructure and engineering requirements, along with identifying necessary regulatory approvals and licenses for the project’s development, construction, and operation.
With an initial capacity of 5,000 tonnes per year, this proposed facility might be the first full-scale Renewable Metals recycling facility.
Renewable Metals opened its second pilot plant in Perth, Western Australia, in September 2023 and is currently developing a demonstration plant to support engineering design for its proposed commercial facility at Hunter Energy Hub, funded by a NSW Critical Minerals and High-Tech Metals Activation Fund grant.
Renewable Metals has developed a process for lithium-ion battery recycling, achieving up to 95% recovery of critical minerals like lithium, nickel, cobalt, copper, and manganese. This facility could recycle various lithium-ion battery types in consumer electronics, including grid storage batteries, EV modules, and battery cells.
AGL General Manager Energy Hubs Travis Hughes stated that this is an example of the type of collaboration AGL is looking into building as it turns its thermal sites into integrated energy hubs.
“Our current strategy is to transition the Liddell and Bayswater sites into the Hunter Energy Hub, by bringing renewable energy generation and associated industries to those sites,” Hughes said.
“The reuse of critical minerals through battery recycling will be an important part of the energy transition. This potential facility could recycle batteries from electric vehicles to grid scale storage and is aligned with how we are thinking about bringing partners to our energy hubs who share our approach to minimising the environmental impact of the transition.”
Renewable Metals CEO Luan Atkinson commented, “Renewable Metals is excited to be working with the AGL to further our vision to close the loop in the battery value chain. We’re looking forward to actively contributing to the transformation of the Hunter region into a renewable energy powerhouse. The potential facility could not only help us achieve our environmental goals but could also create valuable job opportunities and stimulate economic growth within the community.”
AGL aims to increase its renewable generation and firming capacity by approximately 12 GW by the end of 2035 as part of its Climate Transition Action Plan.