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Australia Invests $532 Million to Become a Battery Manufacturing Superpower

The Australian government has unveiled its national battery strategy, committing more than half-a-billion dollars to turn the country into a global leader in battery manufacturing. The strategy aims to capitalize on the projected quadrupling of global demand for batteries by the end of the decade.

Industry Minister Ed Husic emphasized that while Australia is a major supplier of minerals for battery production, much of the manufacturing is currently done overseas. The $532 million initiative is designed to promote more battery manufacturing within Australia, ensuring the country takes charge of the entire battery production process.

“We’re very good at mining and refining, a lot of the processing is done in China. We can do a lot more of this onshore,” Husic stated. “What we’re trying to (do) through the strategy is open people’s eyes to the fact that we have been a leader in technology supporting batteries and we should be able to do more.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese emphasized that the battery strategy is part of a broader push to boost manufacturing in Australia, as part of the “Future Made in Australia” initiative. He highlighted the critical role of batteries in Australia’s clean energy mix, alongside renewable energy, green hydrogen, and critical minerals, in meeting the country’s emission reduction targets and creating a strong, clean energy manufacturing industry.

The unveiling of the battery strategy comes as the federal opposition has faced pressure to provide details on its plan to build nuclear power plants. The opposition is set to reveal the locations of up to seven potential nuclear sites in the coming weeks, focusing on areas where coal or gas-fired power stations were previously located, such as the NSW Hunter Valley, Latrobe Valley in Victoria, Collie in Western Australia, and Port Augusta in South Australia.

Opposition energy spokesman Ted O’Brien acknowledged the importance of nuclear power in the future energy mix, although he refrained from disclosing the specific sites under consideration. The government’s investment in battery manufacturing and the opposition’s nuclear power plans underscore Australia’s commitment to diversifying its energy sources and positioning itself as a leader in clean energy technologies.