Protean Energy Ltd (ASX:POW) has entered into an agreement with KOSDAQ-listed DST Co Ltd to acquire an additional 10% ownership in subsidiary KORID Energy Co Ltd.
KORID was recently awarded $3 million in funding commitments by the Korean Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) for a multi-party vanadium battery project in Korea.
The project is aiming to develop an industry standard for vanadium batteries in Korea and has had a total of about $10 million in funding from KETEP to date.
Protean anticipates findings from the project to significantly reduce costs and improve the energy density of the battery, enabling further scaling of the V-KOR technology.
Protean will issue the equivalent of $750,000 worth of shares at the greater of 3 cents a share or the 10-day volume weighted average price prior to completion.
The transaction will result in Protean securing control of KORID with a 60% interest and the right to appoint the chairman and managing director.
Strong growth in global battery market
Protean energy expert Scott Davis said the company was pleased to increase ownership in KORID during an exciting time for the company and strong growth in the global battery market.
"KORID's selection by the South Korean government as the lead developer and supplier of the stack component of the battery is significant validation of KORID's expertise in stack technology.
"This increased stake in KORID gives Protean Energy a controlling interest in the V-KOR battery technology.
"There is significant potential emerging in the vanadium battery storage market and Protean is now placed to capitalise on further advancements in this technology."
Research from TechNavio predicts the global vanadium market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.24% during the 2017-2021 period, with vanadium redox flow batteries a key driver.
Cash positive for commercialisation of V-KOR
The increased stake in KORID will facilitate the sale of Protean's 1,160,870 shares in DST, which are valued at about $1.5 million.
Protean director Bevan Tarrat said: " With $1.5 million in additional funding from the sale of DST shares, a further $3 million from the recent KETEP grant and a cash balance of over $2 million, Protean is in a strong position to progress towards commercialisation of our unique vanadium battery solution.
"We are please to now have further control over the direction of KORID and believe the next 12 months hold tremendous opportunity in the large-scale battery energy storage market."
Local vanadium supply
Protean is focused on the commercialisation of its V-KOR vanadium battery energy storage systems and holds a multi-energy mineral project in South Korea through its 50% holding in Stonehenge Korea Limited.
Stonehenge is a joint venture company with DST and owns 100% of three projects in South Korea, including the Daejon Vanadium Project.