Council backs land offer for battery factory proposal

Date published: 27 June 2017

Townsville has increased the stakes to secure a state-of-the-art battery manufacturing plant and thousands of new jobs with a land offer that will deliver a major return for ratepayers.

The Townsville City Council today approved a planning report recommending the council offer a portion of land at Woodstock for the proposal which is backed by a consortium led by Boston Energy and Innovation.

The land is part of the former CSIRO Lansdown research station, purchased by the council in 2002 to provide for future industrial uses.

Under the proposal, the council would exchange the land for equity in the project that would be controlled under a specially set-up council business entity and provide the city with an-ongoing financial return.

Mayor Cr Jenny Hill said selecting a suitable site showed the consortium behind the proposal the city was ready for business.

“We have to make sure we keep the momentum going behind our negotiations and the fact that we now have a suitable site is a big step forward,” Cr Hill said.

“The battery plant has the potential to create enormous economic benefits for the city and we are doing all we can to make it stack up.

“In addition to thousands of direct and indirect jobs, taking equity in the project in exchange for the value of the land will generate an on-going revenue stream for ratepayers.

“There is a still a long way to go in our negotiations, but the council is acting quickly to seize the opportunity.”

In April, the council signed an exclusive MoU with a consortium led by Boston Energy and Innovation (BEI) chairman Bill Moss AO which includes ASX Listed Magnis Resources and backed by US companies Eastman Kodak, C4V and C&D Assembly to investigate the financial viability of building a 15GWH battery manufacturing plan in the city.

News of the proposal was announced to the ASX and the New York Stock Exchange.

The consortium estimates that the facility will create up to 1000 direct jobs, and an additional 1000 in new jobs in direct support business and up to 5000 jobs in downstream original equipment manufacturing.