Nyrstar's zinc smelter to host battery project

Netherlands-based multi-metals producer Nyrstar has revealed that Nala Renewables, a new joint venture company founded by its owner, commodities trader Trafigura, will invest €30 million (US$36 million) in a new battery storage facility to be located at Nyrstar’s Balen zinc smelter in Belgium.
Nyrstar's zinc smelter to host battery project Nyrstar's zinc smelter to host battery project Nyrstar's zinc smelter to host battery project Nyrstar's zinc smelter to host battery project Nyrstar's zinc smelter to host battery project

The BESS will use lithium-ion battery technology

Nyrstar said the 100 MWh lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to be installed at Balen, which will be capable of storing 25 MW over four hours, will be Belgium's largest.

The Balen BESS project is scheduled to start in the first half of 2021 following permitting approval, with completion in 2022. Trafigura, a majority owner of Nyrstar, formed Nala Renewables in 2020.

"We are keen to use the expertise and facilities we have at Nyrstar Balen to enable the connection between the Battery Energy Storage System and the Belgian grid," said Nyrstar chief executive Daniel Vanin.

"It is an excellent fit with Nyrstar's continuous move towards a sustainable operation. Our zinc smelters are among the most energy efficient in the world and we already collaborate in large solar panel projects and meaningful wind energy projects in many of the countries where we operate."

Julien Rolland, head of power and renewables trading for Trafigura, added that projects located on land associated with Nyrstar's smelting operations are an early focus for Nala Renewables, with similar concepts being formulated for other assets, such as Puma Energy's Puerto Rico facilities and the MATSA mine in southern Spain.

"Efficient energy storage has a critical role in the low-carbon economy. Weather-reliant renewables, such as wind and solar, generate energy intermittently. This needs to be combined with high-capacity energy storage and rapid-release systems that can be used to align peaks and troughs in power generation with changing patterns in demand," said Rolland.