• Vulcan signs lithium off-take agreement with LG Energy Solution
  • Energy One acquires Adelaide-based energy service provider CQ Energy
  • EcoGraf reaches major milestone to produce HFfree (non-hydrofluoric) battery anode products


Zero-carbon lithium miner Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL) has signed a binding lithium off-take agreement with South Korea-based LG Energy Solution (LGES), the second largest battery maker in the world, holding more than a 20% market share.

Vulcan’s unique Zero Carbon Lithium Project aims to produce both renewable geothermal energy and lithium hydroxide for electric vehicles, from the same deep brine source in the Upper Rhine Valley, Germany.

Under the initial five-year agreement, LGES will purchase between 41,000 to 50,000 metric tonnes of battery grade lithium chemicals over the duration of the agreement, with pricing to be based on market prices for lithium hydroxide.

LGES is currently manufacturing lithium-ion batteries in Poland, US, China and South Korea to leading global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and intends to expand its production capacity.

VUL managing director Dr Francis Wedin said the initial partnership with LG Energy Solution – which was formed back in July 2021 following the signing of a binding term sheet – was a significant first step in its strategy to engage with tier one battery, cathode and automakers in the European market.

“The completion of the binding lithium offtake agreement with LG, in addition to our binding lithium offtake agreements with Volkswagen Group, Stellantis, Renault Group and Umicore, represents a globally unique achievement by the Vulcan team,” he said.

“It means that we are fully sold out for the first five years of planned lithium production, which is an important foundation toward securing project finance.”

Commercial delivery is set for 2025.


Energy One to acquire CQ Energy

Energy One (ASX:EOL) has entered into a share purchase agreement (SPA) to acquire 100% of the shares of CQ Energy Group, building on its strategy to develop a global, 24/7 energy software and service business.

The move follows the acquisition of Belgium-based Egssis in December, 2021 and French-based eZ-nergy in June, 2020.

In its first full financial year post consolidation Energy One expects CQ to contribute approximately A$7 million revenue and A$4.5 million EBITDA.

Established in 2008 and based in Adelaide, CQ Energy is the leading provider of operational energy services to the Australian gas and electricity sector.

CQ Energy’s clients include wind farms, solar farms, and large-scale batteries dispatching directly into the NEM. They also include large industrial gas customers who need to access the wholesale gas market.

EOL group chief executive officer Shaun Ankers said: “CQ enhances our capability and now provides us with the opportunity to establish a global energy services operation with control rooms in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

“Energy One has cemented its position in the 24/7 operational energy services market being the number two provider in Europe and with the acquisition of CQ energy the number one provider in Australia.”


EcoGraf reaches major milestone to produce HFfree Anode products

With support from the Federal Government through major Project Status and Lead Agency Support from the West Australian Government, EcoGraf’s (ASX:EGR) HFfree BAM Facility is set to be the first of its type built outside of China, providing customers with a reliable alternative, sustainably produced source of high-quality battery anode materials.

In a market announcement this morning, the company said the approvals submissions have been prepared with the support of leading industry experts who have extensive experience in undertaking similar processes in the Kwinana-Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area.

The area is around 30km south of Perth and has been designated as a priority zone for the development of a globally leading battery minerals processing centre.

In addition to adopting a zero-waste operating strategy that includes maximising the recycling and re-purposing of production inputs, eliminating all gaseous emissions and value-adding by-products, the new facility also adopts a low impact visual design that complements its immediate surrounds and advanced manufacturing purpose.

The new facility will utilise the company’s unique HFfree purification process that’s been developed through extensive analysis and optimisation over the last five years in Australia and Germany, including the successful testing of global feedstocks and completion of product qualification programs.

EGR said the assessment process for the West Australian Government Works Approval and the City of Rockingham Development Approval typically takes 3-4 months, during which the company will finalise major construction contracts, commence procurement of key processing equipment and complete detailed engineering plans.

EcoGraf managing director Andrew Spinks said the significance of the new battery anode material facility in the Kwinana-Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area “was recognised by Australia’s Federal and State Governments”.

“It will be one of the first facilities in Australia to manufacture battery minerals, it’s complementary to the cathode material investments and it’s positioned to support future battery cell manufacturing in Australia.”


Elixir Energy looks to advance feasibility work at Gobi H2 Project during 2022

Elixir Energy’s (ASX:EXR) Mongolian subsidiary, GOH Clean Energy LLC has been pursuing various initiatives to pursue hydrogen opportunities including a SOLDAR to measure green H2 feedstock at its Gobi H2 Project.

This project seeks to leverage Mongolia’s key energy supply advantage – immediate proximity to the world’s largest energy importer – by supplying China with green hydrogen in the future.

Speaking to the latest December 2021 quarter results, managing director Neil Young said: “It is increasingly my view that Gobi H2 is emerging as one the best potential green hydrogen export projects globally.

“It has the key ingredients of immediate proximity to market, great renewable resources, and access to groundwater supplies.

“Over the course of 2022 we aim to build upon this platform through feasibility work on a pilot plant, garnering in principle project finance support for the pilot, firming up water supplies for the medium and longer terms, and continue engaging with potential local and Chinese customers.”

He said although Elixir would not have to chase any equity partners given the financeability of the pilot project, naturally the company would be open to partnering discussions with the wide range of global energy companies who are increasingly seeking out hydrogen related opportunities.