Korea Zinc [010130:KS] has reached a USD50m investment deal with Energy Vault, a Swiss energy storage company, to decarbonize Korea Zinc’s Australian refinery, as reported by Reuters on January 5. Through the investment, the South Korean firm intends to apply Energy Vault’s advanced energy storage technology to reduce carbon emissions at its Australian zinc refinery, as Korea Zinc works to transform its Sun Metals plant in Queensland into one of the world’s first green zinc refineries.
By 2030, Korea Zinc is looking to employ 80% renewable energy at its mining and smelting facilities, then increase the share of renewables to 100% by 2040. This demands effective energy storage, and Energy Vault’s storage solution, which produces power for a longer period of time than batteries, meets the company’s needs. Prior to the investment, Korea Zinc announced in December 2021 that its Australian clean energy affiliate, Ark Energy, will acquire Epuron Holdings, an Australian wind and solar energy producer. The deal enables the South Korean firm to control over 4.2 gigawatts (GW) of projected wind and solar projects, as well as a portfolio of sites with a total capacity of 4.8 GW. Ark Energy intends to start building renewable energy facilities in 2023 and start generating electricity in 2025.