Construction starts on Australia’s first, large-scale iron flow battery hub in Maryborough

Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics Infrastructure The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

Construction has begun in Maryborough for Australia’s first, large-scale iron flow battery manufacturing facility, creating hundreds of jobs across the region.

Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Steven Miles said the $70 million, state-of-the-art big battery manufacturing centre is being developed by Energy Storage Industries – Asia Pacific (ESI).

“Energy storage is key to unlocking Queensland’s renewable energy revolution as we power towards our target of having 50 per cent renewables by 2030,” Mr Miles said.

“Queensland is becoming a renewable energy superpower and we’re well-positioned to be Australia and Asia-Pacific’s energy storage gateway.

“In the near future, power generated from a nearby wind or solar farm will be stored in iron flow batteries and help power Queensland.

“This manufacturing facility shows industry has confidence to invest in Queensland.”

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the facility would create more jobs in regional Queensland,

“Whether it’s trains or batteries, we’re making it in Maryborough,” Mr Saunders said.

“Iron flow batteries will be manufactured and distributed right here in Maryborough, creating high skilled jobs through a new industry.

“This facility will help boost energy supply, support local jobs and drive down power prices – all vitally important for areas like the Wide Bay.

“When fully operational in 2026, ESI aims to have up to 500 highly skilled employees and contractors working throughout regional Queensland.”

ESI Director Stuart Parry said the company’s focus was on the manufacture and distribution of iron flow batteries for large-scale energy storage targeted towards wholesale electricity generators, energy retailers, and commercial and industrial customers.

“We expect this Maryborough centre to be operational by 2024 and by 2026 we expect to be in a position to deliver 400 megawatts of energy storage each year,” Mr Parry said.

“Within 15 years we expect to be able to supply 6 gigawatts of energy storage – or the equivalent of 20 per cent of Australia’s energy needs.

“Longer-term, we have significant export ambitions – to be a provider of large-scale and small, modular distributed energy storage solutions to the Pacific Islands and South East Asia.”

Mr Miles said the Palaszczuk Government’s 2022-23 State Budget includes significant investment in battery storage.

“We’re rolling out 13 large-scale batteries across the state and investing $15 million to scale up the National Battery Testing Centre (NBTC) in Brisbane,” he said.

ESI is among a number of companies which are utilising the NBTC for battery research and development.

“We’re also investing $5 million to finalise and release a Queensland Battery Industry Development Strategy which is due out later in the year.

“The development of a responsible battery industry is paramount to Australia’s carbon-reduction efforts which is why we are working on this comprehensive strategy to capitalise on Queensland’s battery minerals, mining expertise and manufacturing strengths.”

ESI is an Australian-owned, fully integrated renewable energy company that chose to base its operations in Queensland due to the state’s proactive approach to energy transition; its ability to adopt a coordinated approach via ownership of the transmission and distribution networks and the majority of baseload generation; and the proximity to the Pacific and South East Asia markets.

Even as work starts on its first facility, ESI is already assessing plans for a second Queensland facility, most likely in either Townsville or Gladstone.

By 2026, ESI expects to have around 500 highly-skilled staff and contractors working across regional Queensland. The company intends to procure up to 80 per cent of battery components within regional Queensland, further supporting regional business growth by supplying the state’s energy transition.

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