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Global scale Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub proposed

Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub

A Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) has been proposed at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct in Queensland to refine ore and produce critical materials for use in new technology batteries. 

The proposed advanced manufacturing facility would support North Queensland’s economic recovery and provide a huge industry and jobs boost. 

“The TECH project has the potential to provide a massive boost to Townsville and regional industry,” Queensland deputy premier and minister for State Development Steven Miles said. 

“The project will create around 800 construction jobs and its operational phase would create an estimated 1700 jobs, including 300 highly-skilled advanced manufacturing jobs at the facility and 1400 jobs in support industries. 

“Now that the prescribed project declaration has been made, the Queensland coordinator-general can work with project proponent Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) to ensure all necessary project approvals are obtained in a timely manner.” 

QPM proposes to build the facility in the Townsville City Council’s Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, approximately 40km south of Townsville. 

“Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct is northern Australia’s first environmentally sustainable advanced manufacturing, processing and technology hub,” Townsville mayor Jenny Hill said. 

Townsville is the perfect location, with its existing infrastructure and a skilled workforce, according to QPM managing director and CEO Stephen Grocott. 

“Construction of the TECH facility could begin in 2022, with production commencing late 2023,” Grocott said. 

“The facility proposes to process 1.5 million tonnes of ore annually to produce nickel sulfate, cobalt sulfate and high-purity alumina which are sought after chemicals for use in the emerging electric-vehicle battery manufacture. 

“Furthermore, we will do this in a sustainable manner with industry leading low carbon emissions, zero process liquid discharge and no tailings dam. This is a global first, consistent with the TCC’s aims for the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct.” 

The precinct will benefit from cheaper, cleaner energy. 

“Thanks to Queensland’s cheaper, cleaner electricity, our renewable energy target and zero net emissions target we can expect to see more and more investment in local manufacturing, particularly in regional Queensland,” minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said. 

The state government has already committed $12 million to support rail and road infrastructure to develop the Lansdown precinct and assist projects such as the TECH. 

“High-grade ore from New Caledonia would be imported through the Port of Townsville and transported to the facility,” minister for Resources and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said. 

“Lansdown and projects like TECH will kick-start a new age in industry that will create jobs which Townsville and North Queensland is ready to take advantage off.” 

Lansdown is ideally placed, with easy access to the Port of Townsville. 

“QPM is planning to export the high-tech products through the Townsville Port,” member for Mundingburra Les Walker said. 

“This would see Townsville manufactured materials form part of the fast-growing global supply chain for the battery sector.” 

QPM has offtake agreements in place to sell product to Korean companies LG Energy Solutions, the world’s largest battery manufacturer, and POSCO. 

QPM has also signed a MOU for a dedicated gas supply from the northern Bowen Basin. 

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