Protean goes all-in on vanadium; hands over wave energy business
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Special report: Battery maker Protean Energy is now solely focused on vanadium after selling its wave energy business.
The conversion of ocean waves into energy was an early focus for Protean under plans to build as many as 30 wave energy devices off the coast of Western Australia.
But the area had taken a back seat in recent years as Protean’s vanadium mining and battery-making business took off.
Now, Protean has struck a deal to transfer the Wave Energy Converter business to Perth-based investor Pearl Clean Energy.
Pearl Clean Energy is an Australian clean energy play that finds and develops medium-to-large scale renewable energy projects throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Pearl Clean will pay Protean a 1.5 per cent revenue royalty for ten years and has agreed to spend at least $700,000 developing the business over the next five years.
It’s a great outcome for shareholders, given the Wave Energy asset was not generating revenue while Protean pursued the red-hot vanadium market.
“We’re pleased to be able to extract value from an asset that is no longer our core focus,” said Protean chairman Bevan Tarratt.
“This comes without any cost to shareholders – and enables Protean to solely focus on its vanadium assets.”
Protean is now 100 per cent focused on developing its Daejon vanadium project in Korea as well as working to commercialise is V-KOR vanadium redox flow battery (RFB) technology.
Vanadium flow batteries are expected to grow to $US4.5 billion market by 2028, according to researcher IDTechEx.
“Utilities around the world are avidly testing RFBs in pilot projects, while China is underway in the construction of the largest battery in the world, which will be entirely powered by redox flow batteries,” IDTechEx reported recently.
The technology is favoured for large-scale energy storage because it is safer than lithium-ion and well suited for big “stationary storage” applications such as electricity grids.
Just last week Protean successfully hooked up its vanadium battery with WA electricity operator Western Power.
The vanadium explorer and battery maker has been developing its V-KOR “vanadium redox flow battery” (or VRFB) for about ten years with Korean partner KORID Energy.
Meanwhile, Protean began fast-tracking its South Korean mining project after gaining access to a test plant in the central Korean city of Daejeon.
This special report is brought to you by Protean Energy.
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