Korea Zinc aims for greener production with Energy Vault investment

Energy Vault's storage tower. Source: Energy Vault

January 5 (Renewables Now) - Korea Zinc Co Ltd (KRX:010130) has pledged to invest USD 50 million (EUR 44m) in Energy Vault Inc, upsizing a previously unveiled private investment in public equity (PIPE) at the energy storage solutions company and also agreeing on a new strategic partnership.

As announced in September, Energy Vault will merge with special purpose acquisition company Novus Capital Corporation II (NYSE:NXU) to gain a listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). This deal came with a USD-100-million PIPE transaction that has now been upsized to USD 150 million thanks to Korea Zinc’s investment commitment.

Energy Vault plans to use the proceeds, together with up to USD 288 million in Novus’s cash trust account, to finance its operations and support new and existing growth initiatives, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

Subject to stockholder clearance, the business combination is seen to be finalised in the first quarter of 2022.

Meanwhile, the Korean non-ferrous metal smelting company wants to decarbonise its refining and smelting activities under fully-owned unit Sun Metals Corporation Pty Ltd in Australia and for this reason is establishing a strategic partnership with Energy Vault. The idea is to use the latter’s storage and energy management software technology, with project deployment planned for mid-2022.

“We look forward to collaborating with Energy Vault in pursuit of our goal to become the first refinery in the world to produce green zinc made entirely from renewable energy,” said Kiwon Park, CEO of Sun Metals.

This objective aligns with a broader strategy for the company to shift to 100% renewable power by 2040. As part of the process, Korea Zinc’s Ark Energy Corporation Pty Ltd recently agreed to take over Aussie wind and solar developer Epuron alongside its 9-GW project pipeline.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.882)

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