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Title : Australia's Syrah to expand U.S graphite plant after $220 million grant

Oct 20, 2022 04:11AM ET


Australia's Syrah Resources on Thursday announced plans to quadruple its Louisiana graphite anode plant after being selected to receive a $219.8 million grant under U.S.

President Joe Biden's campaign to boost U.S. production of batteries and electric vehicle components.

On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced $2.8 billion in grants to 20 companies, including Syrah, to produce and process lithium, graphite, and nickel, key minerals in the U.S. effort to reduce dependence on China, the world's largest producer of electric vehicle batteries, in the country.

In July, Syrah, which mines graphite in Mozambique, signed a $102.1 million loan agreement with the U.S.

Department of Energy for the ongoing construction of its 11,250-ton-per-year Vidalia active anode material (AAM) plant and now plans a further upgrade.

"Today we are also pleased to announce that Syrah has been selected for a Department of Energy grant of up to $220 million to support the financing of Vidalia's potential expansion to 45,000 tpa AAM capacity," Syrah CFO Stephen Wells said during an earnings call.

The Vidalia plant is expected to start production in the third quarter of 2023.

Syrah CEO Shaun Verner said the company is also expected to benefit from the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act passed in August, which will offer tax credits and financial support to electric vehicle material producers.

In December 2021, Syrah signed a purchase agreement with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) for the annual supply of 8,000 tons of graphite anode material from Vidalia.

Syrah also has agreements with a Ford Motor Company joint venture with South Korea's SK On and LG Energy Solution to explore future supplies of anode material from the Louisiana plant.

During the quarter ended September 30, Syrah produced 38,000 tons of graphite, down from 44,000 tons in the previous quarter, as the strike over wage claims reduced production in September.

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