‘Southeast Asia’s only vanadium flow battery company’ in MOU to accelerate deployment

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VFlowTech, a vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) manufacturer based in Singapore, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with global liquid storage logistics group Advario.

The potential partnership would seek opportunities to deploy VFlowTech’s systems at Advario terminal facilities, leveraging Advario’s land and renewable energy infrastructure like rooftop solar PV systems for projects.

Advario would also test the technology out and help select appropriate storage tanks for the batteries’ electrolyte, leveraging its own experience in storage infrastructure and operating systems.

VFlowTech was partly spun out of Singapore’s Nanyang Technical University, holding IP developed by the academic institution and incubated by its accelerator programme. Its modular flow batteries are designed to be durable over a 25-year lifetime and offer cost-effective long-duration energy storage (LDES).

“We are delighted to partner with Advario on this important initiative to expand flow batteries for terminal usage. Advario brings great experience of handling chemicals, which is one of the key requirements to scale flow batteries,” VFlowTech co-founder and CEO Dr Avishek Kumar said.

Kumar noted that the company’s VRFB technology has been selected among three projects for test deployment on Singapore’s Jurong Island, which is home to much of the nation state’s industrial infrastructure and is being positioned as an energy and industrial park. Singaporean infrastructure group Sembcorp recently said it plans to build 200MW of lithium-ion battery storage on Jurong Island.

In November 2021, Energy-Storage.news reported that VFlowTech’s PowerCube VRFB technology is being trialled for use in combination with electric vehicle (EV) charging at existing gas station sites in South Korea. In that pilot project, a 150kW/500kWh system will support intelligent DC fast-charging infrastructure. VFlowTech is partnering with Seoul National University of Science and Technology (SeoulTech) and Korean energy tech group CompanyWE Inc on that project.

VFlowTech is targeting the microgrid, commercial and industrial (C&I) and utility-scale market segments.

The company is billed as Southeast Asia’s only vanadium flow battery maker, but interest in flow batteries from a customer and investor perspective has been expressed in the region recently.

Energy-Storage.news reported last week that Malaysian company Reservoir Link had signed an MoU with an unnamed US flow battery provider – thought to be ESS Inc due to the use of a proprietary iron electrolyte developed by the Oregon-headquartered company referred to in MoU documents – for the deployment of >200MW of systems for projects in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

In July last year, Thai renewable energy group BCPG committed to make a US$24 million investment in vanadium flow battery company VRB Energy. VRB is headquartered in Canada and owned by minerals exploration company Ivanhoe Electric. The company is currently involved in one of the world’s largest flow battery projects, a 100MW/500MWh demonstration system in Hubei Province, China.

Elsewhere, major European energy groups Equinor and Uniper committed to investment in and a pilot project for flow battery technologies in the past couple of weeks. Meanwhile a specialist energy industry lawyer told Energy-Storage.news that in the US, the Inflation Reduction Act’s incentive programmes for energy storage, and standalone energy storage projects, could benefit flow batteries.

Morten Lund, a partner at law firm Stoel Rives, said the discount on project capital expenditure offered by the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) could see utilities and investors overlooking some of the cost limitations of flow batteries in favour of their various technical advantages.

In June, analysis group Guidehouse said that it expected demand for vanadium redox flow batteries to rise significantly in the next decade, equalling nearly 33GWh a year of deployments by 2031.

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