WA government launches battery industry strategy

The Western Australian government has launched its strategy to support export growth in the areas of battery minerals, materials, technologies and expertise.

The Australian Future Battery Industry Strategy was announced by WA premier Mark McGowan and state mines and petroleum minister Bill Johnston this week.

McGowan said that increased demand for electric vehicles and energy storage systems had created a unique opportunity for Western Australia to become a central player in the global battery value chain.

“Our Future Battery Industry Strategy will drive the development of the Western Australian battery materials industry that will create local jobs, contribute to skills development and economic diversification, and maximise benefits to regional communities,” McGowan said.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Western Australia to be recognised as a world-leading producer and exporter of future battery materials, technologies and expertise, with huge potential for industry growth and job creation across the battery value chain.”

Among the first initiatives of the strategy is the development and implementation of an investment attraction strategy to further develop and strengthen relationships with investors and manufacturers in global battery and electric vehicle supply chains.

The state government will facilitate the establishment of new future battery projects in WA, supporting projects through the approvals process.

Other steps include filling current and future skill gaps, facilitating access to infrastructure and funding for technology SMEs, and exploring initiatives to increase the uptake of batteries across the Western Australia and globally. These include opportunities through assembly, installation and management of energy storage systems.

Additionally, the state government said it will commit $6 million if it is successful in its bid to host the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre in Perth.

“The McGowan government is a major supporter of the Future Battery Industries CRC bid as it will contribute industry focused research to Western Australian companies across the entire battery industries value chain,” state science minister Dave Kelly.

“The CRC will support value chain research such as manufacturing next generation products that will bolster efficiency, reliability and safety of energy storage systems.”