ASX Renewable Energy Stocks: Pilbara Minerals and Calix win $20m grant to decarbonise hard-rock lithium supply chain
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Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) with its project partner Calix (ASX:CXL), has been awarded a $20 million grant which will be used as part of a joint venture for the progression of a demonstration-scale chemicals facility at the Pilgangoora Project.
Grant funding was received from the Australian Government under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) to assist the Mid-Stream Project in producing lithium salts for global distribution through an innovative midstream refining process.
The objective of the project is to deliver a “superior” lithium raw material that “outperforms across key metrics of product cost, quality, carbon energy reduction and waste reduction/handling.”
The MMI grant signifies a key step forward in the progression of the Mid-Stream Project, which will be used as part of the proposed joint venture between Pilbara Minerals and Calix and supports the design, procurement, construction, and commissioning of the Mid-Stream Project Demonstration Plant.
Pilbara Minerals managing director and CEO Ken Brinsden said the grant funding represents key backing for technology that the company believes to represent a giant leap forward for the hard-rock lithium raw material supply chain.
“The Mid-Stream Project is expected to facilitate waste minimisation in key end-use markets, which decarbonises the hard-rock lithium supply chain and creates competitive ‘value-added’ products that can serve global markets directly,” he said.
CXL managing director echoed this sentiment, stating this “world-first project” aims to develop a “low carbon process for lithium salt production in a rapidly growing market increasingly demanding more sustainable practices.”
Pilbara Minerals and Calix are advancing negotiations relating to the joint venture, with a target to sign in early Q3, 2022.
Waste to heat power technology leader Kalina Power has selected global energy company, Baker Hughes, as a preferred vendor of advanced turbine tech at the company’s 64MW cycle project in Saddle Hills, Alberta, Canada.
The two companies have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU), which includes Baker Hughes to be a preferred vendor of gas turbines for small-scale, combined cycle plants of up to 24MW for KPO’s global projects.
KPO says this move marks “a significant development” in the company’s mission to deploy applications of its high efficiency Kalina Cycle technology at an industrial scale for major international markets.
“Baker Hughes technologies offer best-in-class efficiency in a wide range of power generation applications, contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions,” the company said this morning.
The MOU provides a framework by which the parties can provide modularised packaged solutions for markets that are in transition to zero-emissions and energy efficient power.
Following a competitive evaluation and bidding process, Baker Hughes vapor (steam) turbines and turboexpander generators were assessed by Kalina Power as being scalable and able to be used with the Kalina Cycle for small-scale, combined cycle projects.
Quantum Graphite’s joint venture with Sunlands involves the manufacture and installation of flake graphite-based storage media within Sunlands’ long duration energy storage cells.
Graphite is sourced from QGL’s Uley graphite mine in South Australia, one of the world’s largest natural coarse flake graphite deposits, and used to retro fit Sunlands storage systems to existing coal-fired power stations.
The Sunlands long duration energy storage pilot plant project involves test work to be undertaken by the Quantum Sunlands Partnership (QSP) regarding specifications of the Uley coarse flake graphite.
QGL says the independent test work program is being conducted by Inmet at its facility at the Technische Universitat Bergakademie Freiberg in Saxony, Germany at a scale beyond the bench work scale completed previously.
Successful completion of this work will ensure expedited commercialisation of the Sunlands technology following the operational phase of the pilot plant.
“The scope of this program has been extended beyond the coarse flake media and will include the heat transfer fluid, i.e., inert gas that is contained within Sunlands Co’s thermal energy storage (TES) cells,” the company said.
Fresh samples have been prepared from Uley inventories and will be shipped immediately to Freiberg, Germany.